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The Relationship of Insects to Infection of Cotton Bolls by Aspergillus flavus. L. J. Ashworth, Jr., Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Berkeley 94720; R. E. Rice(2), J. L. McMeans(3), and C. M. Brown(4). (2)Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis 95616; (3)Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Crops Research Division, ARS, USDA, Phoenix, Arizona 85000; (4)Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Crops Research Division, ARS, USDA, Brawley, California 92227. Phytopathology 61:488-493. Accepted for publication 16 November 1970. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-61-488.

First instar larvae of the pink bollworm do not transmit Aspergillus flavus to the interior of the cotton fruit (boll). Nor do the small entrance tunnels of larvae appear to be avenues of entry for either A. flavus or other fungi, including A. niger and Rhizopus sp., which infest the surface of bolls. Exit holes made by mature larvae, however, predispose bolls to infection by fungi; and an increase in severity of infestation results in increased amounts of infection and of the aflatoxin content of seed. Infections by A. niger and Rhizopus sp., which induce carpel necrosis, further enhance infection by A. flavus by inducing premature separation of carpels which exposes lint to infection. Three species of Nitidulidae beetles associated with larval-damaged bolls failed to transmit fungi to bolls. The importance of the pink bollworm-A. flavus complex overshadows the influence of previously reported cultural practices for control of A. flavus infection of cotton.

Additional keywords: Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders), Carpophilus hemipterous (L.), C. dimidiatus (Fab.), Urophorus humeralis (Fab.), skip-row planting.