• Fusarium verticillioides;
  • Aspergillus flavus;
  • mycotoxin;
  • corn;
  • abiotic factors;
  • competition


The presence, development and production of mycotoxins by Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticillioides were studied in corn ears under field conditions after artificial contamination of corn silks. The planted area was divided into five treatments: T1, inoculated with A. flavus solution containing 1 × 108 spores, ears covered; T2, inoculated with F. verticillioides solution containing 1 × 108 spores, ears covered; T3, inoculated with F. verticillioides plus A. flavus solution containing 1 × 108 spores of each, ears covered; T4, sprayed with sterile phosphate-buffered saline, ears covered; T5, non-sprayed silks, uncovered ears. Soil and air samples were also collected and analysed for the occurrence of fungi. Water activity, relative air humidity, rainfall and temperature were determined to assess the correlation between abiotic factors and the presence of fungi in the samples. Contamination with the inoculated fungus predominated in T1 and T2. In the other treatments, F. verticillioides was the most frequently isolated contaminant irrespective of treatment. Considering the production of mycotoxins, a positive relation between the production of fumonisins B1 and B2 and the frequency of F. verticillioides was statistically verified in all treatments. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry