Whole genome comparison of Aspergillus flavus L-morphotype strain NRRL 3357 (type) and S-morphotype strain AF70
Gilbert MK, Mack BM, Moore GG, Downey DL, Lebar MD, Joardar V, Losada L, Yu J, Nierman WC, Bhatnagar D
Aspergillus flavus is a saprophytic fungus that infects corn, peanuts, tree nuts and other agriculturally important crops. Once the crop is infected the fungus has the potential to secrete one or more mycotoxins, the most carcinogenic of which is aflatoxin. Aflatoxin contaminated crops are deemed unfit for human or animal consumption, which results in both food and economic losses. Within A. flavus, two morphotypes exist: the S strains (small sclerotia) and L strains (large sclerotia). Significant morphological and physiological differences exist between the two morphotypes. For example, the S-morphotypes produces sclerotia that are smaller (< 400 μm), greater in quantity, and contain higher concentrations of aflatoxin than the L-morphotypes (>400 μm). The morphotypes also differ in pigmentation, pH homeostasis in culture and the number of spores produced. Here we report the first full genome sequence of an A. flavus S morphotype, strain AF70. We provide a comprehensive comparison of the A. flavus S-morphotype genome sequence with a previously sequenced genome of an L-morphotype strain (NRRL 3357), including an in-depth analysis of secondary metabolic clusters and the identification SNPs within their aflatoxin gene clusters.