Seed coat mediated resistance against Aspergillus flavus infection in peanut


Toxic metabolites known as aflatoxins are produced via certain species of the Aspergillus genus, specifically A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. nomius, and A. tamarie. Although various pre- and post-harvest strategies have been employed, aflatoxin contamination remains a major problem within peanut crop, especially in subtropical environments. Aflatoxins are the most well-known and researched mycotoxins produced within the Aspergillus genus (namely Aspergillus flavus) and are classified as group 1 carcinogens. Their effects and etiology have been extensively researched and aflatoxins are commonly linked to growth defects and liver diseases in humans and livestock. Despite the known importance of seed coats in plant defense against pathogens, peanut seed coat mediated defenses against Aspergillus flavus resistance, have not received considerable attention. The peanut seed coat (testa) is primarily composed of a complex cell wall matrix consisting of cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, phenolic compounds, and structural proteins. Due to cell wall desiccation during seed coat maturation, postharvest A. flavus infection occurs without the pathogen encountering any active genetic resistance from the live cell(s) and the testa acts as a physical and biochemical barrier only against infection. The structure of peanut seed coat cell walls and the presence of polyphenolic compounds have been reported to inhibit the growth of A. flavus and aflatoxin contamination; however, there is no comprehensive information available on peanut seed coat mediated resistance. We have recently reviewed various plant breeding, genomic, and molecular mechanisms, and management practices for reducing A. flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination. Further, we have also proved that seed coat acts as a physical and biochemical barrier against A. flavus infection. The current review focuses specifically on the peanut seed coat cell wall-mediated disease resistance, which will enable researchers to understand the mechanism and design efficient strategies for seed coat cell wall-mediated resistance against A. flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination.



Aflatoxin, Aspergillus flavus toxin, Peanut, Cell wall, Seed coat


Mendu, Lavanya, Christopher J. Cobos, Theophilus K. Tengey, Leslie Commey, Vimal K. Balasubramanian, Lindsay D. Williams, Kamalpreet K. Dhillon et al. "Seed coat mediated resistance against Aspergillus flavus infection in peanut." Plant Gene (2022): 100381.
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