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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOCONTROL OF FUMONISIN AND OTHER MYCOTOXINS IN CORN AND TALL FESCUE WITH MICROBIAL ENDOPHYTES

Location: Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research

Title: Fusarium verticillioides: Managing the Endophytic Association with Maize for Reduced Fumonisins Accumulation

Authors
item Bacon, Charles
item Glenn, Anthony
item Yates, Ida

Submitted to: Journal of Toxicology Toxins Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: October 29, 2008
Repository URL: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/27693/PDF
Citation: Bacon, C.W., Glenn, A.E., Yates, I.E. 2008. Fusarium verticillioides: Managing the Endophytic Association with Maize for Reduced Fumonisins Accumulation. Journal of Toxicology Toxins Reviews. 27:411-446.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium verticillioides is a very important fungus from the aspects of plant disease, cereal production and food safety, particularly as it relates to corn. A major concern of this species is the fumonisin toxins that are harmful to humans and animals ingesting Fusarium-contaminated food or feed products. The fungus exists as a symptomless intercellular endophyte in both field and sweet maize, but the role during the symptomless state of infection is ambiguous. Most strains produce the fumonisins in large quantities during the pre-harvest and post-harvest periods of corn production, even during the symptomless state. The dual nature of F. verticillioides as both pathogen and a symptomless endophyte indicates a complex relationship with corn. Interactive biotic factors such as plant genetics with abiotic factors such as drought may alter the required balanced relationships resulting in a weakened plant, changing the relationship into a disease, during which mycotoxins are produced. Consequently, the development of appropriate control measures for the virulent state is expected to be difficult. Research on corn plant structure, the nature of the intercellular space, the fungus and tissue association, as well as corn genetics form the basis for research objectives designed to solve problems dealing with F. verticillioides common association with corn. Two biocontrol agents and approaches are also reviewed along pre- and post-harvest biological control measures designed to reduce maize contamination by F. verticillioides and the fumonisin mycotoxins.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium verticillioides is a very important fungus from the aspects of plant disease, cereal production and food safety, particularly as it relates to corn. A major concern of this species is the fumonisin toxins that are harmful to humans and animals ingesting Fusarium-contaminated food or feed products. The fungus exists as a symptomless intercellular endophyte in both field and sweet maize, but the role during the symptomless state of infection is ambiguous. Most strains produce the fumonisins in large quantities during the pre-harvest and post-harvest periods of corn production, even during the symptomless state. The dual nature of F. verticillioides as both pathogen and a symptomless endophyte indicates a complex relationship with corn. Interactive biotic factors such as plant genetics with abiotic factors such as drought may alter the required balanced relationships resulting in a weakened plant, changing the relationship into a disease, during which mycotoxins are produced. Consequently, the development of appropriate control measures for the virulent state is expected to be difficult. Research on corn plant structure, the nature of the intercellular space, the fungus and tissue association, as well as corn genetics form the basis for research objectives designed to solve problems dealing with F. verticillioides common association with corn. Two biocontrol agents and approaches are also reviewed along pre- and post-harvest biological control measures designed to reduce maize contamination by F. verticillioides and the fumonisin mycotoxins.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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