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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356765

Research Project: Biocontrol of Aflatoxin and Other Mycotoxins in Maize Using Non-toxigenic Strains of Aspergillus flavus

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Contamination of sesame seed grown in Mississippi with aflatoxin, fumonisin, and mycotoxin-producing fungi

item Abbas, Hamed
item EBELHAR, WAYNE - Mississippi State University
item Bellaloui, Nacer
item MULVANCY, MICHAEL - University Of Florida
item Stoner, George
item Kotowicz, Jeremy
item Little, Nathan
item ACCINELLI, CESARE - University Of Bologna
item SHIER, W. T. - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: World Mycotoxin Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2019
Publication Date: 3/18/2019
Citation: Abbas, H.K., Ebelhar, W.M., Bellaloui, N., Mulvancy, M.J., Stoner, G., Kotowicz, J.K., Little, N., Accinelli, C., Shier, W. 2019. Contamination of sesame seed grown in Mississippi with aflatoxin, fumonisin, and mycotoxin-producing fungi. World Mycotoxin Journal. 12(2):123-132.

Interpretive Summary: Sesame has been grown for over 5,000 years as a crop that provides a source of oil, edible paste and seeds. Recently, sesame has been grown in the Mississippi Delta and many other places in the U.S. Sesame may be susceptible to many agricultural pests, including Aspergillus and Fusarium fungi which produce poisons known as aflatoxin and fumonisin that are known to cause illness and death in animals and humans. We studied the potential of these toxins to be produced in the sesame crop in Mississippi and Florida. Over the 2 year field study, low levels of aflatoxin and fumonisin were found in sesame seed, but these levels were not high enough to have any significant effect on animal or human health. Sesame seed was shown not to be highly susceptible to contamination with mycotoxins, and therefore, is a safe crop for growers and consumers.

Technical Abstract: Four sesame varieties (S-34, S-35, S-38, and S-39) were planted in the Mississippi Delta in 2014 and 2015 at four nitrogen fertilizer application rates from 44.8 to 112 kg N/ha, and evaluated for grain yield and contamination by mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi. Variety S-35 had the highest yield in both years. Harvest seed moisture was not related to variety, because opposite results were obtained in the two years. N fertilizer application rate had no effect on yield or mycotoxin contamination of harvested seed in 2014, but significantly increased yield in 2015. Harvested sesame seed density was influenced by treatments (N rates and variety) with varietal differences occurring in the different years. While observed differences were small, even small differences could impact marketability. There was no significant effect of N fertilizer application rate, variety, crop year or interaction between them for contamination of harvested seed by aflatoxins, fumonisins, Aspergillus flavus or Fusarium verticillioides in cleaned and uncleaned harvested sesame seed. Similar results were obtained from trials conducted in the Florida Panhandle during 2015. In general, sesame seed is not susceptible to aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination. None of the mycotoxin levels observed in this study were significant in regard to human or animal health, but further testing is needed. This is the first report of fumonisin found in sesame seed. The results of this study indicate that sesame seed is a safe crop for growers and consumers.