Submitted to: Journal of Toxicology Toxins Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2008
Publication Date: 8/1/2008
Citation: Williams, W.P., Krakowsky, M.D., Windham, G.L., Balint-Kurti, P.J., Hawkins, L.K., Henry, W.B. 2008. Identifying maize germplasm with resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Toxin Reviews. 27:319-345.
Interpretive Summary: Contamination of corn grain with aflatoxin, which is produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, is a serious problem for corn producers in the Southeast. Aflatoxin contamination is a serious food and feed safety problem. Growing aflatoxin-resistant corn hybrids is generally considered a highly desirable way to reduce losses, but corn hybrids with high levels of resistance are not commercially available. Germplasm with higher levels of resistance is needed for use in corn breeding programs so aflatoxin-resistant hybrids can be produced. Germplasm accessions from several sources were evaluated for resistance at Mississippi State, MS; Tifton, GA; and Raleigh, NC. Selections from germplasm obtained from the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project, a collaboration that includes federal, state, and industry cooperators, exhibited excellent levels of resistance both as lines and in testcrosses. This germplasm will be used in breeding programs and also in gene mapping studies to enhance levels of resistance in corn hybrids
Technical Abstract: Contamination of maize, Zea mays L., grain with aflatoxin, a toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, reduces its value and marketability. Growing hybrids with resistance is generally considered a highly desirable way to reduce A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. Identifying maize germplasm with resistance is critical to the development and production of such hybrids. USDA-ARS scientists at Mississippi State, MS; Tifton, GA; and Raleigh, NC have engaged in a multi-location approach to germplasm screening. A major component of this has been the evaluation of accessions obtained from the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project at both Mississippi State and Tifton. Selections from GEM accessions 250_01_XL370A_S11_F2S4_9214_Blk21/00-# and 2250_02_XL370A_S11_F2S4_3363_Blk03/00-# exhibited the highest levels of resistance both as lines per se and in testcrosses. Lines developed at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and North Carolina State University also exhibited reduced levels of aflatoxin contamination. CML348, NC388, NC400, NC408, and NC458 were among those with low levels of aflatoxin contamination. The lines that displayed low levels of contamination should be useful in maize breeding programs for developing parental inbred lines and aflatoxin-resistant maize hybrids.