Submitted to: Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fungi and insects cause multimillion dollar losses to corn. Although resistant varieties have been discovered, the reason they are resistant is often unknown. A variety of corn that is resistant to a toxin-producing ear mold was found to produce a previously unknown chemical in the kernel that is somewhat similar to other chemicals previously found in corn leaves. This chemical inhibited the production of toxins and carcinogens by two different ear molds. It also inhibited the growth or feeding by some insects. Now that this resistance factor has been identified, it will be easier for corn breeders to develop varieties of corn resistant to mold and insects, by simply determining levels of the chemical, as opposed to doing time-consuming evaluations using mold and insects.
Technical Abstract: Bioassay-directed fractionation of an extract of a gibberella ear rot-resistant corn hybrid resulted in the isolation of a fraction that inhibited mycotoxin production, but not growth of Fusarium culmorum. The fraction contained diferuloylputrescine and a new allelochemical 4-acetyl-benzoxazolin-2-one (4-ABOA). This report describes the isolation of the bioactive fraction and tests of the effect of 4-ABOA on 3-acetyl deoxynivalenol (3ADON) and aflatoxin production. In addition, data are reported on the effects of 4-ABOA and related compounds on a number of insect species and some preliminary studies on the mechanism of insect toxicity. The effect of 4-ABOA on F. culmorum and Aspergillus flavus was similar. Production of toxin was reduced without a concomitant reduction of growth. A 50% inhibition of 3ADON production occurred at ca. 4 um and 0.12 mM for aflatoxin. 4-ABOA was slightly toxic to Spodoptera frugiperda.