Integrated database for identifying candidate genes for Aspergillus flavus resistance in maize

Rowena Y. Kelley, Cathy Gresham, Jonathan Harper, Susan M. Bridges, Marilyn L. Warburton, Leigh K. Hawkins, Olga Pechanova, Bela Peethambaran, Tibor Pechan, Dawn S. Luthe, J. E. Mylroie, Arunkanth Ankala, Seval Ozkan, W. B. Henry, W. P. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Aspergillus flavus Link:Fr, an opportunistic fungus that produces aflatoxin, is pathogenic to maize and other oilseed crops. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen, and its presence markedly reduces the value of grain. Understanding and enhancing host resistance to A. flavus infection and/or subsequent aflatoxin accumulation is generally considered an efficient means of reducing grain losses to aflatoxin. Different proteomic, genomic and genetic studies of maize (Zea mays L.) have generated large data sets with the goal of identifying genes responsible for conferring resistance to A. flavus, or aflatoxin. . Results: In order to maximize the usage of different data sets in new studies, including association mapping, we have constructed a relational database with web interface integrating the results of gene expression, proteomic (both gel-based and shotgun), Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) genetic mapping studies, and sequence data from the literature to facilitate selection of candidate genes for continued investigation. The Corn Fungal Resistance Associated Sequences Database (CFRAS-DB) ( was created with the main goal of identifying genes important to aflatoxin resistance. CFRAS-DB is implemented using MySQL as the relational database management system running on a Linux server, using an Apache web server, and Perl CGI scripts as the web interface. The database and the associated web-based interface allow researchers to examine many lines of evidence (e.g. microarray, proteomics, QTL studies, SNP data) to assess the potential role of a gene or group of genes in the response of different maize lines to A. flavus infection and subsequent production of aflatoxin by the fungus. . Conclusions: CFRAS-DB provides the first opportunity to integrate data pertaining to the problem of A. flavus and aflatoxin resistance in maize in one resource and to support queries across different datasets. The web-based interface gives researchers different query options for mining the database across different types of experiments. The database is publically available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalBMC bioinformatics
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - Oct 7 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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