Differentiation of aflatoxin-producing and non-producing strains of Aspergillus flavus group

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Aims:Three conventional methods and a multiplex PCR procedure with a set of four primers (Quadruplex-PCR) were used to differentiate between aflatoxin-producing and non-producing strains of the Aspergillus flavus group.Methods and Results:By combining sets of primers for aflR, nor-1, ver-1 and omt-A genes of the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, Quadruplex-PCR showed that aflatoxinogenic strains gave a quadruplet pattern, indicating the presence of all the genes involved in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway which encode for functional products. Non-aflatoxinogenic strains gave varying results with one, two, three or four banding patterns. A banding pattern in three non-aflatoxinogenic strains resulted in non-differentiation between these and aflatoxinogenic strains.Conclusion and Significance and Impact of the Study:Because conventional methods are time-consuming, further studies are needed to develop a rapid and objective technique that permits complete differentiation between aflatoxin-producing and non-producing strains of the A. flavus group.

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