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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Research Project #432896

Research Project: Optimizing Corn-based Starch “Bioplastic” Formulation to Enhance the Efficacy of Beneficial Pathogens to Control Agricultural Pests

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Project Number: 6066-42000-006-09-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2018
End Date: May 31, 2023

Objective:
Gain an understanding of the role of formulation and delivery on the efficacy of Aspergillus (A.) flavus and other pathogens and the production of aflatoxin and various mycotoxins in order to optimize the application of competitive exculsion products. Optimize the formulation and delivery mechanism through testing the viability of the formulated biological control agents, formulation shelf life, germination of biological control agents, stability of formulation, and efficacy of the formulation and application. 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 other agronomical crops, and continue ecological studies on Aspergillus populations under various management strategies, e.g., rotations, tillage, and cover crops, and herbicide resistant crops.

Approach:
Characterize population dynamics of Aspergillus (A.) and other pathogens propagules in the environment at various stages of development of conventional and non-conventional crops, corn, soybean, etc. Compare efficacy of non-toxigenic A. flavus strains as biocontrol agents. Optimize formulation for improvement of efficacy of beneficial pathogens. Utilizing classical methods and molecular diagnostic tools to achieve the objective of this project.