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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #200800

Title: Spatial Correlation Between Aflatoxin Level and Ear-Feeding Insect Damage in Pre-Harvest Corn

item Ni, Xinzhi
item Krakowsky, Matthew
item BUNTIN, G
item LEE, R

Submitted to: Multicrop Aflatoxin and Fumonisin Elimination and Fungal Genomics Workshop-The Peanut Foundation
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2006
Publication Date: 10/16/2006
Citation: Ni, X., Da, K., Krakowsky, M.D., Buntin, G.D., Lee, R.D., Brown, S.L. 2006. Spatial Correlation Between Aflatoxin Level and Ear-Feeding Insect Damage in Pre-Harvest Corn. In: Proceedings of the 6th Annual Fungal Genomics, the 7th Annual Multi-Crop Fumonisin, and the 19th Annual Multi-Crop Aflatoxin Elimination Workshops, October 16-18, 2006, Fort Worth, Texas. p. 96.

Interpretive Summary: not required

Technical Abstract: Insect damage and its correlation to aflatoxin contamination is an important factor for aflatoxin reduction in corn production. Ear-feeding insect damage and aflatoxin levels were assessed in a preharvest corn field (1/6 hectare) in 2005 by sampling the field according to an 8x8 m grid. The top ears from five plants were collected at each grid point in the field when the kernel moisture was at 12%. The insect damage assessment included the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, as well as the percentage of stink bug-damaged kernels, which represented the kernel damage caused by a combination of Euschistus servus (Say) and southern green stink bug, Nezara virdula (L.), feeding. The aflatoxin levels from the corn samples were quantified. The aflatoxin level was correlated to the number of the maize weevils (r = 0.3, P = 0.002, n = 92), but not to either corn earworm damage (r = 0.15, P = 0.17, n = 92) or the stink bug damage (r = 0.09, P = 0.37, n = 92). In addition, the correlation between aflatoxin level and husk coverage was not significant (r = -0.15, P = 0.1544, n = 92). The roles of both chewing and piercing-sucking insect feeding on aflatoxin and other mycotoxin accumulation in preharvest corn are also discussed.