Aflatoxin Contamination of Groundnut: Prospects for a Genetic Solution through Conventional Breeding uri icon


  • Af latoxin contamination of groundnut is a serious problem in most groundnut-producingcountries. The aflatoxin-producing fungi, Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus,can invade groundnut seed in the field before harvest, during postharvest drying andcuring, and in storage. The semi-arid tropical environment is conducive to preharvestcontamination when the crop experiences drought before harvest, whereas in wet andhumi d areas, postharvest contamination is more prevalent. Af latoxin contaminationcan be minimized by adopting some cultural, produce-handling, and storage practices.However, these practices have not been widely adopted by small farmers in developingcountries which contribute about 60% of the world's groundnut product ion.Cultivars resistant to seed invasion by aflatoxin-producing fungi or to aflatoxin production woul d be of great value to farmers in both developed and developing countries.Therefore, breeding for resistance to aflatoxin-producing fungi and/or aflatoxinproduct ion can play a significant role in preventing aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, consequent economic losses, and health hazards.The alleviation of aflatoxin contamination through genetic manipulation has beenat tempted since the mid 1970s. In spite of the significant progress achieved to date,these efforts have not resulted in complete freedom f rom aflatoxin contamination.The current status and future prospects of genetic solutions to the aflatoxin contaminationproblem are briefly discussed in this paper

publication date

  • 1997