Aflatoxin Development in Modules During Field Storage in the Mid-South

W. E. Batson, Jr. and J. Caceres


Samples of seed cotton from thirty fields in the Mississippi Delta were assayed for superficial populations of Aspergillus flavus in an effort to identify appropriate sites for further study. A. flavus group fungi were recovered from seed cotton rinsate from 14 of the 30 sites sampled. Only two of these sites were among the seven of 31 sites where A. flavus was found in 1992. Seven other 1992 sites were positive for A. flavus group fungi when resampled in 1993. Five additional sites of A. flavus contamination were identified in 1993. Populations in 1993 were however extremely low, generally below 225 propagules/gram of seed cotton, except for one site where populations exceeded 1650 propagules/gram of seed cotton. Nevertheless, modules were constructed near Shelby, Gunnison, Panther Burn, and Sidon, MS and monitored weekly for moisture, temperature, and aflatoxin. Moisture and temperature of seed cotton were within acceptable ranges and were indicative of a lack of microbial activity. Not unexpectedly, since populations of A. flavus were so low, aflatoxin contamination of seed was rare and when present below 2 ppb. Sampling ports proved an appropriate avenue for repeated sampling. Construction of a module from artificially inoculated bolls is planned for 1994 to insure higher levels of A. flavus contamination for subsequent study of the influence of modular storage on aflatoxin development.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 279
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998