Afla-Guard also protects corn crops

Sep 03, 2010

Afla-Guard®, a biological control used to thwart the growth of fungi on peanuts, can be used on corn as well, according to a study by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists who helped develop it.

After extensive study and research trials in Texas, Afla-Guard was registered by the U.S. (EPA) for use on corn, beginning with the 2009 crop.

Recently retired Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Joe Dorner at the National Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., helped develop Afla-Guard®, a biological control for the aflatoxin-producing fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus in peanuts. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

A. flavus and A. parasiticus, naturally-occurring , can invade food and feed crops, contaminating them with aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a human carcinogen produced by the fungi and is also toxic to pets, livestock, and wildlife.

Afla-Guard is composed of hulled barley coated with spores of a nontoxic strain of A. flavus. The nontoxic Aspergillus fungi successfully compete against the toxic species for the limited space and nutrients each needs to grow and thrive. In peanuts, Afla-Guard reduced aflatoxins by an average of 85 percent in farmers' stock peanuts and up to 97 percent in shelled, edible-grade peanuts.

In light of this success, Dorner and other ARS scientists conducted a two-year study of Afla-Guard in corn. They again found that it was effective in reducing levels—showing an overall reduction of 85 percent, when compared to control fields.

Afla-Guard was applied to the corn crop in different ways: to soil when corn was less than a meter tall, in plant whorls prior to tassel formation, and as multiple sprays during silking.

The research was published in the Journal of Food Protection.

Explore further: The clock is ticking: New method reveals exact time of death after 10 days

Related Stories

Seeds of aflatoxin-resistant corn lines available

May 20, 2010

Six new corn inbred lines with resistance to aflatoxin contamination have been found to be free of seed-borne diseases foreign to the United States, and seeds of these lines are now available in the United States for further ...

Helpful yeast battles food-contaminating aflatoxin

Jan 27, 2010

Pistachios, almonds and other popular tree nuts might someday be routinely sprayed with a yeast called Pichia anomala. Laboratory and field studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist Sui-Sheng (Sylvi ...

Hardy New Corn Lines Released

Oct 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Six new inbred maize lines with resistance to aflatoxin contamination have now been registered in the United States by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS plant pathologist Robert ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

14 hours ago

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

The math of shark skin

22 hours ago

"Sharks are almost perfectly evolved animals. We can learn a lot from studying them," says Emory mathematician Alessandro Veneziani.

Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Jul 03, 2015

Somewhere in the North Atlantic right now, a longfin mako shark—a cousin of the storied great white—is cruising around, oblivious to the yellow satellite tag on its dorsal fin.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.