Aspergillus flavusms-induced chitosanase in germinating corn and peanut seeds: A. flavus mechanism for growth dominance over associated fungi and concomitant aflatoxin production

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Food Additives and Contaminants


Chitosanase, a new class of enzymes with antifungal properties was induced by toxigenic Aspergillus flavus in both germinating com and peanut seeds. The enzyme was partially purified and fractioned by SDS-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis activity and copolymerized with chitosan or glycolchitosan as substrate, then quantified by scanning densitometry and a 2-dimensional analysis software program. Chitosanase enzyme was markedly induced by toxigenic A. flavus growing in germinating com and peanut seeds, as compared to control (water) which showed the lowest activity (almost nil in com). However, chitosanase induction was higher in seeds treated with chitosan from crustacea. Overall, enzyme activity was higher in peanut than in com seeds. However, electrophoresed gels from peanut treated with A. flavus or water showed more polypeptides (three and one, respectively) than gels from com seeds, which only showed one polypeptide for both A. flavus and water treatment. The enzyme molecular weight was estimated to be between 36 000 and 45 000. © 1995 Taylor & Francis Ltd. All rights reserved.

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