Submitted to: Federal Interagency Conference on Mycotoxin Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Studies of the ecology, pathology, and epidemiology of Aspergillus flavus in preharvest corn have emphasized fungal adaptations for survival, characterization of A. flavus populations in corn fields, sap beetle vectoring of fungal inoculum, insect damage to corn ears, competitive interference by other microbes, the route of kernel infection, and the impact of drought and temperature stress on corn susceptibility. This information is being used to predict aflatoxin outbreaks, to better interpret aflatoxin resistance in variety trials, and in the invention or discovery of new products for monitoring and controlling fungi and insects. The present emphasis of research to control Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin in preharvest corn involves the identification of relevant resistance factors and their transfer into commercial hybrids. Reliable inoculation techniques have been developed to screen corn germplasm for resistance to A. flavus and aflatoxin. Molecular marker mapping (RFLP) of genes for resistance to A. flavus infection and/or aflatoxin is presently guiding efforts of corn geneticists to determine the inheritance of resistance. Natural mechanisms of kernel protection against A. flavus or aflatoxin have been identified that are currently being investigated.