Submitted to: Multicrop Aflatoxin and Fumonisin Elimination and Fungal Genomics Workshop-The Peanut Foundation
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2003
Publication Date: 3/15/2004
Citation: Yates, I.E., Widstrom, N.W., Bacon, C.W., Glenn, A.E., Hinton, D.M., Sparks, D., Jaworski, A.J. 2004. Field performance of corn grown from fusarium verticillioides-inoculated seed. Multicrop Aflatoxin and Fumonisin Elimination and Fungal Genomics Workshop-The Peanut Foundation. October 12-15, 2003, Savannah, Georgia. p. 16. Interpretive Summary: Abstract - New Submission - MultiCrop, Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop.
Technical Abstract: Fusarium verticillioides is an important fungus occupying dual roles in the corn plant. The fungus functions as an endophyte, a fungal/host interaction beneficial to the growth of some plants. At other times, the fungus may function as a mycotoxin producing pathogen. The advantages and/or disadvantages of the endophytic relationship must be established in order to target the level for controlling diseases and mycotoxins. One possibility could be to ensure seed corn is fungal free prior to planting; however, corn and F. verticillioides may exist in a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship until external abiotic and/or biotic factors impinge on the stability of the relationship. Targeting seed borne infections as a control site can not be designated until the advantages and/or disadvantages such a corn-F. verticillioides interaction is evaluated under field conditions. Reciprocal inoculations were made with two isolates of F. verticillioides, RRC 374 and RRC PAT, on two corn genotypes, Silver Queen and GT-MAS:gk. The former genotype is a commercial hybrid sweet corn and the latter, an experimental dent corn resistant to aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus. Experiments were conducted during the growing season of 1997, 1998, and 1999 in irrigated sites at the Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, Ga. Plant growth was compared among years, between corn genotypes within each year, and among plants grown from non-inoculated and F. verticillioides-inoculated seed. Significant differences in growth occurred among the three years of the study and between the two corn genotypes. However, no consistent significant differences occurred among mature plants based on different seed inoculations. Consequently, seed borne F. verticillioides infections were not detrimental to the performance of the corn plant under field conditions existing during this study. We propose that the first line of defense for preventing F. verticillioides disease and mycotoxin production should focus on the corn plant by ensuring proper growth conditions and adequate storage conditions for plant products.