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Patterns of Fungal Association Within Maize Kernels Harvested in North Carolina. D. T. Wicklow, Northern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peoria, IL 61604. . Plant Dis. 72:113-115. Accepted for publication 4 September 1987. 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, 1988. DOI: 10.1094/PD-72-0113.

Eleven common maize-infecting fungi grew out from surface-disinfected maize kernels that were collected at harvest in North Carolina in 1977 and plated on malt extract agar. The fungal species were compared for significant association between pairs in all possible combinations. A negative association was observed for 21 of the 55 pairings of fungal species, whereas only three species pairs were positively associated. Fusarium moniliforme infected 52% of the kernels and was negatively associated in pairings with all 10 of the other kernel-invading fungi. This finding lends support to the hypothesis that initial kernel infection by F. moniliforme serves as a deterrent to the subsequent establishment of other fungi. In contrast, Aspergillus flavus and A. niger frequently grew out from the same kernel and showed a highly significant positive association (chi-square = 147.37).