Non-destructive SPE-UPLC-based Quantification of Aflatoxins and Stilbenoid Phytoalexins in Single Peanut (Arachis spp.) Seeds

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J Vis Exp. 2024 Apr 19;(206). doi: 10.3791/66574.

ABSTRACT

Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic secondary metabolites of some fungal species, particularly Aspergillus flavus. Aflatoxins often contaminate economically important agricultural commodities, including peanuts, posing a high risk to human and animal health. Due to the narrow genetic base, peanut cultivars demonstrate limited resistance to fungal pathogens. Therefore, numerous wild peanut species with tolerance to Aspergillus have received substantial consideration by scientists as sources of disease resistance. Exploring plant germplasm for resistance to aflatoxins is difficult since aflatoxin accumulation does not follow a normal distribution, which dictates the need for the analyses of thousands of single peanut seeds. Sufficiently hydrated peanut (Arachis spp.) seeds, when infected by Aspergillus species, are capable of producing biologically active stilbenes (stilbenoids) that are considered defensive phytoalexins. Peanut stilbenes inhibit fungal development and aflatoxin production. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze the same seeds for peanut stilbenoids to explain the nature of seed resistance/susceptibility to the Aspergillus invasion. None of the published methods offer single-seed analyses for aflatoxins and/or stilbene phytoalexins. We attempted to fulfill the demand for such a method that is environment-friendly, uses inexpensive consumables, and is sensitive and selective. In addition, the method is non-destructive since it uses only half of the seed and leaves the other half containing the embryonic axis intact. Such a technique allows germination and growth of the peanut plant to full maturity from the same seed used for the aflatoxin and stilbenoid analysis. The integrated part of this method, the manual challenging of the seeds with Aspergillus, is a limiting step that requires more time and labor compared to other steps in the method. The method has been used for the exploration of wild Arachis germplasm to identify species resistant to Aspergillus and to determine and characterize novel sources of genetic resistance to this fungal pathogen.

PMID:38709040 | DOI:10.3791/66574