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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311869

Title: Evaluation of recycled bioplastic pellets and a sprayable formulation for application of an Aspergillus flavus biocontrol strain

item ACCINELLI, CESARE - University Of Bologna
item Abbas, Hamed
item VICARI, ALBERTO - University Of Bologna
item SHIER, WAYNE - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2015
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Citation: Accinelli, C., Abbas, H.K., Vicari, A., Shier, W.T. 2015. Evaluation of recycled bioplastic pellets and a sprayable formulation for application of an Aspergillus flavus biocontrol strain. Crop Protection. 72: 9-15.

Interpretive Summary: Mold called Aspergillus flavus produces aflatoxins which is a cancer causing chemical that contaminates corn. This is a major food safety concern. Isolates of an A. flavus that do not produce aflatoxins are used to control this cancer causing toxin. This study was used to determine the best delivery method for the non-toxigenic A. flavus strains (i.e., strains that do not produce toxins), which reduce toxin production by competing with the toxin-producing fungi. A sprayable formulation of bioplastic (starch -based material) granules decreased aflatoxins in corn more the previous method which used grain. This method is also cheaper because it uses recycled starch bioplastic. This study provides a valuable advance and cost effective in formulation technology for biological control A. flavus strains that should prove useful for researchers and for biotechnology companies that market biological control products.

Technical Abstract: Biocontrol of Aspergillus flavus using inoculated bioplastic granules has been proven to be effective under laboratory and field conditions. In the present study, the use of low-density pellets from recycled bioplastic as a biocontrol strain carrier was evaluated. Applying recycled bioplastic pellets inoculated with biocontrol A. flavus NRRL 30797 to two soils with different levels of indigenous A. flavus, resulted in a rapid 55% and 63% decrease in percent aflatoxigenicity in A. flavus isolates from low and high population soils, respectively. The decrease occurred significantly more rapidly using lower-density recycled bioplastic pellets than using higher-density bioplastic granules, but aflatoxin production by indigenous soil A. flavus decreased to comparable levels in two months. A sprayable bioplastic formulation prepared from inoculated recycled bioplastic pellets was effective in delivering adherent biocontrol A. flavus to corn leaves, and in promoting a 4-fold increase in recovered non-toxigenic A. flavus DNA one week later.