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Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Integrated Pest Mgmt


Reducing Mycotoxin Levels in Corn via Lepidopteran Insect Control and Application of Atoxigenic Fungi
G. SCHUSTER (1), T. Mays (2), M. S├ętamou (3), P. Porter (4), S. Nelson (5) (1) Texas A&M University - Kingsville/Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, U.S.A.; (2) Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S.A.; (3) Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center, U.S

Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites that have adverse health effects on animals and humans. Lepidopteran damage to corn is suspected to facilitate fungal colonization and infection to kernels and to increase the risk of mycotoxin production and accumulation in corn. This study was initiated to evaluate the application of AF-36 and Afla-Guard at two growth stages in reducing mycotoxin levels in corn. Treatments included an untreated control, insect control, AF-36 and Afla-Guard applied at the V8 or VT growth stage, and Afla-Guard applied at the V8 or VT growth stage with insect control. The application of AF-36 or Afla-Guard applied at the V8 or VT growth stage did not significantly reduce the concentration of either aflatoxin or fumonisin. In 2013, the insect control significantly reduced the fumonisin concentration, and in 2014 application of insecticide alone or with Afla-Guard applied at the V8 or VT growth stage reduced the concentration of fumonisin. Aflatoxin levels were not significantly reduced by the application of AF-36 or Afla-Guard at either application time or by the insecticide applications. Fumonisin concentrations in both years showed a positive relationship with the amount of ear damage caused by Helicoverpa zea and Spodoptera frugiperda. Aflatoxin concentrations in 2013 were positively correlated to the amount of ear damage, but no such correlation was observed between aflatoxin and insect damage in 2014.