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Efficacy of water-dispersible formulations of biological control strains of Aspergillus flavus for aflatoxin management in corn

Mark A. Weaver, Hamed K. Abbas, Xixuan Jin, Brad Elliott
Food additives & contaminants: Part A 2016 pp. 1-6
Aspergillus flavus, Zea mays, aflatoxins, biological control, corn, field experimentation, food contamination
Field experiments were conducted in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate the efficacy of water dispersible granule (WDG) formulations of biocontrol strains of Aspergillus flavus in controlling aflatoxin contamination of corn. In 2011, when aflatoxin was present at very high levels, there was no WDG treatment which was able to provide significant protection against aflatoxin contamination. The following year a new WDG formulation was tested that resulted in 100% reduction in aflatoxin in one field experiment and ≥ 49% reduction in all five WDG treatments with biocontrol strain 21882. Large sampling error, however limited the resolution of various treatment effects. Corn samples were also subjected to microbial analysis to better understand the mechanisms of successful biocontrol. In the samples examined here, the size of the A. flavus population on the grain was associated with the amount of aflatoxin, but the toxigenic status of that population was a poor predictor of aflatoxin concentration.