Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2017
Publication Date: 3/2/2017
Citation: Vaughan, M.M. 2017. Climate change and crop natural defenses: potential implications for food security and food safety. Abstract.
Technical Abstract: Wheat and corn are an essential part of the world’s grain supply, but climate change has the potential to increase grain susceptibility to toxin producing fungal pathogens. While rising atmospheric [CO2] is a driving force of climate change, our understanding of how elevated [CO2] will effect grain crop defenses against such pathogens remains limited. Here we report that growth at elevated [CO2] increased maize and wheat susceptibility to Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium graminearum, respectively. Fumonisin contamination of corn was only greater in combination with drought, but deoxynivalenol contamination of wheat was significantly higher under conditions of elevated [CO2] alone. Our findings suggest that the abiotic stress associated with climate change will compromise the natural defense mechanisms of important grain crops which will impact disease development and mycotoxin contamination.