Crop Biotech Update

ARS Corn Lines Resist Fungal Toxins

September 3, 2010

Scientists of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the favorable results of field trials of corn germplasm lines with resistance to aflatoxin produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus fungi. Paul Williams, geneticist from USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), explained that the presence of aflatoxin in corn threatens its value and marketability because the toxin causes cancer to humans, pets, and wildlife. Together with his team of scientists, Williams is working on new corn lines with genetic resistance to aflatoxin-producing fungi.

Mp04:097, the most recent line produced, showed high levels of resistance to aflatoxin contamination. This line, and the other lines produced by the team, have been widely requested and used in plant breeding programs of various research institutions across the globe.

For more details, visit http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2010/100902.htm.