ICRISAT Scientists Use Double-defense Biotech Approach to Produce Aflatoxin-free Peanuts
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