G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 11(8) ( 2021)
Aspergillus flavus is an opportunistic pathogen of crops, including peanuts and maize, and is the second leading cause of aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. A. flavus is also a major producer of the mycotoxin, aflatoxin, a potent carcinogen, which results in significant crop losses annually. The A. flavus isolate NRRL 3357 was originally isolated from peanut and has been used as a model organism for understanding the regulation and production of secondary metabolites, such as aflatoxin. A draft genome of NRRL 3357 was previously constructed, enabling the development of molecular tools and for understanding population biology of this particular species. Here, we describe an updated, near complete, telomere-to-telomere assembly and re-annotation of the eight chromosomes of A. flavus NRRL 3357 genome, accomplished via long-read PacBio and Oxford Nanopore technologies combined with Illumina short-read sequencing. A total of 13,715 protein-coding genes were predicted. Using RNA-seq data, a significant improvement was achieved in predicted 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions, which were incorporated into the new gene models.