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Aflatoxin and Fumonisin in Corn (Zea mays) Infected by Common Smut Ustilago maydis
- Abbas, Hamed K., Zablotowicz, Robert M., Shier, W. Thomas, Johnson, Bobbie J., Phillips, Nicholas A., Weaver, Mark A., Abel, Craig A., Bruns, H. Arnold
- Plant disease 2015 v.99 no.9 pp. 1236-1240
- Ustilago zeae, Zea mays, aflatoxins, corn, fumonisins, galls, humans, plant pathogenic fungi, seeds, smut diseases
- Corn infected with Ustilago maydis (common smut) produces galls that are valued as a delicacy in some cultures. During a 4-year period, aflatoxin levels in asymptomatic kernels of smutted ears were, on average, 45-fold higher than in kernels harvested from smut-free control ears and 99-fold higher than in smut galls. Aflatoxin levels in smut galls were lower than in kernels of smut-free control corn in all years combined. Fumonisin levels in asymptomatic kernels harvested from smutted ears were 5.2-fold higher than in kernels from smut-free control ears and 4.0-fold higher than in smut galls. Fumonisin levels in smut galls were not significantly different than in kernels of smut-free control corn. These studies indicate that, although corn smut was relatively free of the mycotoxins studied, the asymptomatic kernels of those ears contained mycotoxins at levels much higher than usually considered safe for direct human consumption.