17 October 2017. Researchers from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partners successfully developed aflatoxin-free peanuts. The open-access article about the study is published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.
According to the research article, they have achieved a high level of aflatoxin resistance in peanut by over expressing antifungal plant defensins MsDef1 and MtDef4.2, and through silencing of aflM and aflP genes from the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The overexpression of genes improved the genetic resistance to Aspergillus flavus infection, while the gene silencing inhibited aflatoxin production during infection. This provides durable resistance against different Aspergillus flavus morphotypes and negligible aflatoxin content in several peanut events/lines as well.
This revolutionary approach has the potential to significantly reduce aflatoxin contamination not just in groundnut but may also be applied to other important crops such as maize, cotton seed, chilli, almond, and pistachio.
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