Implications of Bt Traits on mycotoxin contamination in maize: Overview and recent experimental results in southern United States

Hamed K. Abbas, Robert M. Zablotowicz, Mark A. Weaver, W. Thomas Shier, H. Arnold Bruns, Nacer Bellaloui, Cesare Accinelli, Craig A. Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mycotoxin contamination levels in maize kernels are controlled by a complex set of factors including insect pressure, fungal inoculum potential, and environmental conditions that are difficult to predict. Methods are becoming available to control mycotoxin-producing fungi in preharvest crops, including Bt expression, biocontrol, and host plant resistance. Initial reports in the United States and other countries have associated Bt expression with reduced fumonisin, deoxynivalenol, and zearalenone contamination and, to a lesser extent, reduced aflatoxin contamination in harvested maize kernels. However, subsequent field results have been inconsistent, confirming that fumonisin contamination can be reduced by Bt expression, but the effect on aflatoxin is, at present, inconclusive. New maize hybrids have been introduced with increased spectra of insect control and higher levels of Bt expression that may provide important tools for mycotoxin reduction and increased yield due to reduced insect feeding, particularly if used together with biocontrol and host plant resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11759-11770
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Volume61
Issue number48
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2013

Keywords

  • Aspergillus flavus
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Bt and non-Bt maize
  • Fusarium verticillioides
  • GM crops
  • aflatoxin
  • environmental manipulation
  • fumonisin
  • insects
  • mycotoxin
  • transgenic corn

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