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Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 344-352;

Aflatoxin Accumulation in a Maize Diallel Cross

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit, P.O. Box 9555, MS 39762, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anna Andolfi
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites)
Full-Text   |   PDF [182 KB, uploaded 17 June 2015]


Aflatoxins, produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, occur naturally in maize. Contamination of maize grain with aflatoxin is a major food and feed safety problem and greatly reduces the value of the grain. Plant resistance is generally considered a highly desirable approach to reduction or elimination of aflatoxin in maize grain. In this investigation, a diallel cross was produced by crossing 10 inbred lines with varying degrees of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation in all possible combinations. Three lines that previously developed and released as sources of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation were included as parents. The 10 parental inbred lines and the 45 single crosses making up the diallel cross were evaluated for aflatoxin accumulation in field tests conducted in 2013 and 2014. Plants were inoculated with an A. flavus spore suspension seven days after silk emergence. Ears were harvested approximately 60 days later and concentration of aflatoxin in the grain determined. Parental inbred lines Mp717, Mp313E, and Mp719 exhibited low levels (3–12 ng/g) of aflatoxin accumulation. In the diallel analysis, both general and specific combining ability were significant sources of variation in the inheritance of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. General combining ability effects for reduced aflatoxin accumulation were greatest for Mp494, Mp719, and Mp717. These lines should be especially useful in breeding for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Breeding strategies, such as reciprocal recurrent selection, would be appropriate. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus flavus; aflatoxin; maize; plant resistance Aspergillus flavus; aflatoxin; maize; plant resistance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Williams, W.P.; Windham, G.L. Aflatoxin Accumulation in a Maize Diallel Cross. Agriculture 2015, 5, 344-352.

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