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Ecology and Epidemiology

Relation of Plant Water Potential at Flowering to Subsequent Cottonseed Infection by Aspergillus flavus. M. A. Klich, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southern Regional Research Center, P. O. Box 19687, New Orleans, LA 70179; Phytopathology 77:739-741. Accepted for publication 7 November 1986. This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 1987. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-77-739.

The involucral nectaries of cotton flowers in field plots in Arizona were tagged and inoculated with spores of Aspergillus flavus on the day of anthesis. To determine the degree of plant water stress, water potentials were measured in the plots between 1200 and 1230 hr on the tagging day. Tagged bolls were harvested at maturity and the seeds assessed for A. flavus. Seed infection levels were affected significantly by water potentials on the day of anthesis and inoculation, with the highest infection levels generally occurring in seed from plants with water potentials between 1.6 and 1.9 MPa.

Additional keywords: aflatoxin, fungal ecology, Gossypium.