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Oral: Translational Research for the Management of Complex Diseases


Management of Aspergillus and Fusarium ear rot diseases.
K. WISE (1), T. Isakeit (2), R. Heineger (3), C. Woloshuk (4) (1) Purdue University, U.S.A.; (2) Texas A&M University, U.S.A.; (3) North Carolina State University, U.S.A.; (4) Purdue University, U.S.A.

Aspergillus and Fusarium ear rots of maize are chronic diseases in the southern United States and are periodically important in the Mid-South and Midwestern U.S. The fungi that cause these diseases produce mycotoxins that are harmful to both humans and animals. Research trials were conducted from 2013 to 2015 in Indiana, North Carolina and Texas to evaluate the efficacy of several rates of commercially-available atoxigenic products for control of Aspergillus and Fusarium ear rots, determine the value of insect-resistant (Bt) hybrids for mycotoxin control, and efficacy of foliar fungicide applications for ear rot and mycotoxin control. Fungicides did not reduce ear rots or mycotoxins in any state or year. Insect-resistant hybrids did reduce mycotoxin levels in Texas and Indiana in several years, but not in North Carolina. Atoxigenic product efficacy varied, and economic gains from using this management strategy occurred when mycotoxin contamination was high. Our research indicates that regional environmental and crop production differences influence efficacy of management practices for mycotoxins, and additional research is needed to determine region-specific management practices of these ear rots.