Aflatoxin Accumulation and Associated Traits in QPM Maize Inbreds and their Testcrosses Academic Article uri icon


  • Preharvest aflatoxin (AF) contamination by Aspergillus flavus Link:Fr is one of the main limitations for maize (Zea mays, L.) production in the southern USA, causing enormous economic losses and posing a risk to animal and human health. The objectives of this study were (1) to estimate aflatoxin accumulation and expression of associated traits in quality protein maize (QPM) inbreds and their testcrosses, (2) to compute their repeatabilities and correlations, and (3) to study the relationship between inbred lines and their testcrosses for aflatoxin accumulation. Forty-eight inbreds and their testcrosses plus checks were grown in one and three locations in south and central Texas, respectively. Aflatoxin concentration was evaluated in the plants following inoculation with A. flavus. Average aflatoxin concentration overall for inbreds was 286.3 ng g-1, and for testcrosses 596.5 ng g-1 at Corpus Christi, TX, 325.1 ng g-1 at Weslaco, TX, and 105.1 ng g-1 at College Station, TX. Flinty orange inbreds developed from CIMMYT Population 69 were the least susceptible to aflatoxin accumulation in both inbreds and testcrosses at all locations. Repeatability for aflatoxin was 0.67 in inbreds at Weslaco, TX and 0.54 in testcrosses across locations. Aflatoxin in testcrosses was positively correlated both phenotycally and genotypically with endosperm texture and kernel integrity, and negatively correlated with grain yield and silking date. Less aflatoxin accumulation was associated with flinty endosperm texture, better kernel integrity, and later maturities. Association between the expression of traits in inbreds and aflatoxin in testcrosses was relatively high for endosperm texture (R 2 = 0.62), silking date (R 2 = 0.44), kernel integrity (R 2 = 0.39), and aflatoxin (R 2 = 0.60 for log ng g-1). It seems plausible to select for associated traits having high heritabilities and strong correlation with aflatoxin, in addition to low aflatoxin accumulation in inbreds and hybrids to reduce the risk of aflatoxin contamination. 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings

  • Euphytica

author list (cited authors)

  • Betrn, F. J., Bhatnagar, S., Isakeit, T., Odvody, G., & Mayfield, K.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • BetrĂ¡n, F Javier||Bhatnagar, Sandeep||Isakeit, Tom||Odvody, Gary||Mayfield, Kerry

publication date

  • November 2006