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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Mycotoxin Research
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1 - Overview
2 - Biological Control of Aflatoxin
3 - Fungal Invasion of Peanuts
4 - Fungal Population Biology
Fungal Population Biology


A thorough understanding of the ecology and population biology of aflatoxin-producing fungi is a prerequisite for devising new strategies for controlling aflatoxin in peanuts.  We have examined populations at three spatial scales.

Single peanut field in Georgia:  Population structure is complex and aflatoxin production by fungi is extremely variable.

Peanut field
Chart of aflatoxin production by different genetic groups

Aflatoxin production by different genetic groups

Transect through the southern United States:  Peanut-growing regions having severe aflatoxin outbreaks are dominated by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus.

Picture showing peanut-growing regions having severe aflatoxin outbreaks and dominated by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus (1997).

Worldwide populations where peanuts are grown:  On-going study in collaboration with North Carolina State University shows large differences in population structure and genetic composition.

Worldwide populations where peanuts are grown
(Map courtesy of CIA - The World Factbook)

 

For more information contact Bruce Horn.

 

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Last Modified: 1/6/2010
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