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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #280999

Title: The impact of common smut(Ustilago maydis) on aflatoxin and fumonisin in transgenic Bt and non-Bt maize (Zea mays)

item Abbas, Hamed
item Zablotowicz, Robert
item Weaver, Mark
item Abel, Craig

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Corn infected with Ustilago maydis (common smut), produces galls that are valued food in certain cultures, but may be contaminated with mycotoxins. Field studies conducted in Elizabeth, Mississippi used near-isogenic Bt and non-Bt corn hybrids. The levels of aflatoxin and fumonisin were determined in kernels from ears having common smut galls and kernels from ears free of visible symptoms. Mycotoxins were also determined in excised smut galls in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, a high degree of common smut was observed (~17 % infected ears) with lower incidences in 2007 and 2008 (~3 %), with no effect of the Bt genotype. Grain from smut-infected corn contained from 1035 to 4485 µg kg-1 total aflatoxin compared to 4 to 51 µg kg-1 in non-infected corn. However, aflatoxin content in smut galls was similar to aflatoxin levels in non-infected grain. Likewise, fumonisin levels were five- to ten-fold higher in smut-infected grain, with 12 to 135 mg kg-1 found in galls. These studies indicate that high levels of mycotoxins can be associated with smut-infected corn and potential toxicology should be considered when cultivating corn as a source of smut as a food product.