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Comparison of Open-Pollinated Maize Varieties and Hybrids for Preharvest Aflatoxin Contamination in the Southern United States. M. S. Zuber, Professor of Agronomy, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211. L. L. Darrah, Research Geneticist, USDA, ARS, and Associate Professor of Agronomy, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211; E. B. Lillehoj, Research Microbiologist, USDA, ARS, New Orleans, LA 79179; L. M. Josephson, Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37916; A. Manwiller, Professor of Agronomy, Pee Dee Experiment Station, Florence, SC 29501; G. E. Scott, Supervisory Research Agronomist, USDA, ARS, Mississippi State, MS 39762; R. T. Gudauskas, Professor of Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36830; E. S. Horner, Professor of Agronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611; N. W. Widstrom, Research Geneticist, USDA, ARS, Tifton, GA 31793; D. L. Thompson, Research Agronomist, USDA, ARS, and Professor of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27607; A. J. Bockholt, Associate Professor of Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843; and J. L. Brewbaker, Professor of Horticulture, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96822. Plant Dis. 67:185-187. Accepted for publication 14 June 1982. 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, 1983. DOI: 10.1094/PD-67-185.

Grain from four currently grown adapted maize (Zea mays) hybrids and eight open-pollinated varieties that were widely grown in the southeastern United States before 1940 was examined for naturally occurring aflatoxin at eight locations in 1979 and 1980. Determinations on mature dry grain showed average aflatoxin B1 levels among the 12 entries for all locations and years ranging from 37 to 772 ppb. Aflatoxin levels differed significantly among entries with the open-pollinated variety Huffman significantly higher in aflatoxin than the other 11 entries. The mean aflatoxin level for the four hybrids (63 ppb) was significantly lower than the mean of the eight open-pollinated varieties (214 ppb). Insect damage rating means varied significantly among locations, entries, and the interaction of entries by locations. Mean insect damage ratings were significantly correlated (P = 0.01) with aflatoxin levels but the coefficient was low (r = 0.19). When insect damage ratings and aflatoxin levels for the 12 entries were averaged over locations and years and compared by Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, they showed a significant correlation (r = 0.53). The open-pollinated variety Huffman also had the highest insect damage rating. Higher temperatures in 1980 apparently coincided with higher aflatoxin levels at all locations except South Carolina.

Keyword(s): Aspergillus flavus, corn.