1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop methods to manage aflatoxins in maize production with emphasis on techniques that are useful in the U.S. and Africa. To select and characterize optimal biological control agents for the prevention of aflatoxins in maize and rotation crops and to develop protocols for optimization of biological control of aflatoxin contamination.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
In collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, and collaborators in the target country, biological control agents will be selected, characterized, and assessed for efficacy. Researchers and students from target countries will be trained and provide the majority of the research labor. Strains will be evaluated in laboratories and in field tests in Africa. The use and optimization of mixtures of biological control agents will be determined; optimal procedures for effecting both single season and long-term reductions in contamination in diverse agronomic systems including monocropping, co-cropping, and rotation cropping systems will be utilized. Inexpensive methods for production and dissemination of agents and optimal agronomic practices for reducing contamination with the biological controls will be developed.
Research is carried out at the Agricultural Research Sevice (ARS) laboratory at the University of Arizona, at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, and in Burkina Faso. Sampling of maize and groundnut from target regions in Burkina Faso was performed in collaboration with our partners at Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Several thousand isolates were collected from these samples and screened for potential as biological control agents in laboratory studies. Strains of potential value in the field were selected. IITA and ARS visited INERA and villages in March, 2011 to assist in needs assessment and planning of field aspects of the project. Coordination is by computer based communication, telecommunication, and exchange visits.