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Zearalenone Production in Field Corn in Indiana. Rodney W. Caldwell, Graduate Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907; John Tuite, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907. Phytopathology 60:1696-1697. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-60-1696.

A study was made to determine if zearalenone (RAL) was produced by isolates of Fusarium roseum, including cultivars Culmorum and Graminearum, in dent corn in the field in amounts sufficient to cause estrogenic upset in swine (minimal levels 5-10 ppm). Ears were inoculated at silk with six isolates that produced 50 to 1,100 ppm of RAL in autoclaved corn in laboratory storage. Production in the field was absent or ranged up to 2% of that produced in vitro, and amounts never exceeded 5 ppm and almost always were less. Eight isolates of F. tricinctum and 12 F. roseum isolates were used to inoculate ears of dent corn. Fusarium tricinctum and cultivars Equiseti, Avenaceum, and Gibbosum of F. roseum were not pathogenic. Ears invaded by Graminearum produced less than 5 ppm of RAL. Ten samples of corn collected from commercial fields in Indiana in 1965 infected with Gibberella zeae yielded no more than 0.1 ppm of RAL. Thus, estrogenic upset in swine in Indiana caused by RAL is usually a result of growth by F. roseum ‘Graminearum’ (G. zeae) in storage, and not in developing ears.