Seed metabolites alter the development of Aspergillus ssp.
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Three species of the genus Aspergillus (A.) A. nidulans, A. parasiticus, and A. flavus are currently being observed in our lab to determine the effects of seed metabolites on fungal development. A. nidulans reproduces asexually through the formation of conidiophores and sexually through the formation of cleistothecia. Both A. parasiticus and A. flavus reproduce asexually via the conidiophore. The development of these reproductive structures seems to bepartially dependent upon the fungal molecule called psi factor that is derived from the polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid. Psi factor is a hormone that controls sexual and asexual reproduction in the fungus. Due to the structural similarities and similar effects on fungal development, we hypothesize that these seed metabolites are behaving in the same manner as the Aspergillus psi factor and in this way are directing fungal development. The relationship between fungal development and production of the carcinogenic compounds aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin by Aspergillus has been recently demonstrated in our lab (Hicks et al., 1997). Therefore, understanding the effects of natural fatty acids on fungal development could aid in the reduction of these mycotoxins.
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Includes bibliographical references: leaf 10.
Hinze, Lori Lynn (1998). Seed metabolites alter the development of Aspergillus ssp.. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from