AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES, ECOLOGICAL AND VARIETAL EFFECTS ON AFLATOXINS AND OTHER MYCOTOXINS IN CORN
Biological Control of Pests Research Unit
Project Number: 6402-42000-003-00
Start Date: Dec 28, 2005
End Date: Dec 27, 2010
Optimize agronomic systems and environmental practices, including fertilization and rotation that minimize inoculum potential of Aspergillus flavus and other mycotoxin-producing fungi while maximizing corn yield and profits in the Mid-south USA. Gain an understanding of the role of crop management practices on the ecology of Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination in order to optimize the application of competitive exclusion products. Develop economical biologically-based strategies, including antagonists from soil fungi and bacteria, microbial competitors and antagonists, and natural compounds from biological sources, to minimize mycotoxins and their respective fungi in corn, and continue ecological studies on Aspergillus populations under various management strategies, e.g., rotations, tillage, and cover crops, and herbicide-resistant crops. Evaluate insect-resistant and susceptible maize lines for insect damage and aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination. Evaluate corn accession for aflatoxin resistance. Develop isolines with stable resistance and susceptibility. Cooperate with industry in using molecular markers to develop resistent inbreds/hybrids.
Evaluate potassium fertility as a means to decrease mycotoxins. Evlaluate corn maturity as a management practice to avoid heat and/or drought stress and mycotoxins. Evaluate double-cropped corn for mycotoxin contamination. Evaluate corn-soybean rotation to reduce fungal inoculum. Characterize population dynamics of Aspergillus propagules in soil, air, insects and corn at various ontogeny in BT and conventional corn. Compare efficacy of non-toxigenic A. flavus strains as biocontrol agents. Optimize surfactant concentration and formulation for improvement of efficacy of non-toxigenic strains. Determine efficacy of Pichia anomala to control aflatoxin and fumonisin. Identify and characterize bacteria from corn field soils as biocontrol agents of Aspergillus and Fusarium. Isolate and identify factors in corn-earn-worm-resistant corn silks for control of insects and mycotoxins. Cooperate with breeders to develop isolines and inbreds/hybrids.