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Hybrid Differences in Estimation of Preharvest Occurrence of Bright Greenish-Yellow Fluorescence and Aflatoxin in Corn

Lillehoj, E. B., Manwiller, A., Whitaker, T. B., Zuber, M. S.
Journal of environmental quality 1983 v.12 no.2 pp. 216-219
Zea mays, aflatoxins, corn, flowering, fluorescence, hybrids, maturity groups, planting date, rapid methods, regression analysis, seeds, water content, South Carolina
Replicate, 200-g kernel samples were acquired from 26 corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids of the 1980 South Carolina yield trials to study the interrelationships between moisture at harvest, bright greenish-yellow (BGY) fluorescence, and aflatoxin concentrations. A modification of the BGY fluorescence detection method was developed to increase the accuracy of the rapid estimation of aflatoxin levels through a quantitative assessment of fluorescent material in finely ground samples. Ground samples from all of the test hybrids contained some BGY-fluorescing particles, and > 90% of them contained aflatoxin. Although an elevated toxin level was only detected in kernels of a single hybrid, results based on the averages of hybrids in three hybrid maturity groups (short-, mid-, and full-season) showed that kernels of the short-season hybrids contained elevated levels of moisture, BGY fluorescence, and aflatoxin. Variation in moisture levels apparently was related to staggered planting dates of the three maturity groups to facilitate flowering at about the same time. Regression analyses showed significant associations between kernel moisture, BGY fluorescence, and aflatoxin. The results were considered in the context of development of rapid techniques for assessment of regional, preharvest aflatoxin contamination of corn.