Genetic Approaches to Eliminate Aflatoxin Contamination of Peanuts


The overall goal of TAM 33A was to develop genetic approaches to eliminate aflatoxin contamination of peanuts utilizing biotechnology techniques.


The pathway by which Aspergillus species produce sterigmatocystin (ST) and aflatoxins (AF) was understood, facilitating research on how the process may be disrupted. The ultimate aim was to transform peanuts by inserting gene constructs that will confer resistance to seed invasion by the fungi and/or to production of aflatoxin. The impact can only be potential at present, but success in this work would have a huge effect on peanut production and utilization in the U.S. and worldwide. The research into use of local peanut products to inhibit aflatoxin production in stored peanut seed in household storage could reduce human exposure to aflatoxins in developing countries.


Aflatoxin contamination

Lead Scientist

Dr. Nancy Keller
Texas A&M University

Ghana Collaborators:

Dr. Richard Awuah, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Dr. William Ellis, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi