Title

Visualizing Nanoparticles In the Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus Flavus

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Microbiology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

2nd Place

Abstract

The fungus, Aspergillus flavus, is a pathogenic fungus known for producing aflatoxin. Aflatoxin in A. flavus affects crops, livestock, and people, causing things like aspergillosis and liver cancer in people. Aspergillosis mainly affects organisms with immune deficiencies when they breath in the A. flavus spores. Previous reports indicated that aflatoxin production can be prevented by silver nanoparticles, but the mechanism of action is unknown. In this study we demonstrate that silver nanoparticles are internalized by A. flavus cells. A Leica confocal laser scanning microscope was used to obtain images of the fungal samples with silver nanoparticles. We overlaid 20X differential interference contrast imaging of the A. flavus that had been exposed to silver nanoparticles. These images showed that the nanoparticles entered the fungal cells. A series of time lapse photos showed the nanoparticles moved inside the cells. We proposed that the nanoparticles enter the cells through endocytosis and localize to the vesicles which are the site of aflatoxin production. These results suggest potential mechanisms of action for reduction of aflatoxin production via silver nanoparticles, which could lead to new ways to prevent the negative impacts on crops, livestock, and people.

Location

Founders Hall 213 B

Start Date

3-30-2019 12:15 PM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 30th, 12:15 PM

Visualizing Nanoparticles In the Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus Flavus

Founders Hall 213 B

The fungus, Aspergillus flavus, is a pathogenic fungus known for producing aflatoxin. Aflatoxin in A. flavus affects crops, livestock, and people, causing things like aspergillosis and liver cancer in people. Aspergillosis mainly affects organisms with immune deficiencies when they breath in the A. flavus spores. Previous reports indicated that aflatoxin production can be prevented by silver nanoparticles, but the mechanism of action is unknown. In this study we demonstrate that silver nanoparticles are internalized by A. flavus cells. A Leica confocal laser scanning microscope was used to obtain images of the fungal samples with silver nanoparticles. We overlaid 20X differential interference contrast imaging of the A. flavus that had been exposed to silver nanoparticles. These images showed that the nanoparticles entered the fungal cells. A series of time lapse photos showed the nanoparticles moved inside the cells. We proposed that the nanoparticles enter the cells through endocytosis and localize to the vesicles which are the site of aflatoxin production. These results suggest potential mechanisms of action for reduction of aflatoxin production via silver nanoparticles, which could lead to new ways to prevent the negative impacts on crops, livestock, and people.