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Postharvest Pathology and Mycotoxins

Preharvest Development of Aflatoxin B1 in Corn in the United States. M. S. Zuber, Supervisory Research Agronomist, Cereal Genetics Research Unit, and Professor of Agronomy, University of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, Columbia 65201; O. H. Calvert(2), E. B. Lillehoj(3), and W. F. Kwolek(4). (2)Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, Columbia 65201; (3)(4)Research Microbiologist, and Biometrician, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Peoria, IL 61604. Phytopathology 66:1120-1121. Accepted for publication 4 March 1976. Copyright © 1976 The American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. All rights reserved.. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-66-1120.

A preharvest sampling of field corn at various locations in the United States showed B1 aflatoxin content exceeding 20 ng/g (20 ppb) at three of 13 (23%) locations in 1972, four of 15 (27%) in 1973, and 11 of 21 (52%) in 1974. Some locations in Georgia and Texas had aflatoxin-contaminated corn in each of the three years. Also, there was a tendency for a much higher incidence of excessive aflatoxin B1 in corn in the more southerly locations in the U. S. than in those farther north. Thus, there appear to be distinct regional differences in aflatoxin production in corn within the United States. It is evident that aflatoxin B1 often is produced as a result of A. flavus infection of developing grain in the field.