Start Date: Oct 01, 2011
End Date: Nov 30, 2015
This project investigates new technologies to detect Aspergillus (A.) flavus and Fusarium (F.) verticillioides growth on corn and novel methods to inhibit their growth and mycotoxin production. Secondary metabolic volatiles unique for the growth of toxigenic strains of the fungi will be identified and shared with our stakeholder who will develop electronic, “real-time” sensors to detect the growth of these fungi. Safe, commercially available plant antifungal volatiles will be tested for their in vitro activity against these fungi. Promising compounds will be further tested to determine their ability to prevent fungal growth in small-scale, bench models of stored corn. These same compounds in the liquid form will be studied for their in vitro activity against the bacterium, Leuconostoc (L.) mesenteroides (a problem in sugar cane factories) and the fungi Penicillium (P.) digitatum and P. italicum which cause post harvest citrus rot. ARS collaborators will use this data to develop novel technologies to prevent the growth of these fungi in raw sugar cane juice and stored oranges.