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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Interactions of Microflora and Arthropods in Stored Grain

Author
item Wicklow, Donald

Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Mycologists and entomologists have separately studied the interaction of temperature and moisture on the colonization patterns of fungi and arthropods in stored grain. Knowledge of the secondary metabolites produced by fungal taxa common to grain stores can suggest sources of mycotoxin/entomotoxin contamination and point to volatile fungal metabolites that may attract or repel certain arthropods. Investigations of interactions between grainary arthropods and fungi should recognize the trophic relationships of species, initially focusing on fungi and arthropods that share the same optima for growth and reproduction. Sap beetles (Carpophilus spp.) can influence the initial fungal colonization of maize grain before it is harvested. Primary grain feeding insects damage intact grains providing routes of entry for fungi, secondary insects, and mites. The latter include detritivores and fungivores that selectively consume fungi, choosing among a mosaic of fungal 'patches'. Arthropod grazing can stimulate or suppress fungal sporulation, while some adult beetles such as Tribolium spp. produce benzoquinones which inhibit fungal growth. Detritivorous insects are better able to tolerate molded and mycotoxin-contaminated resources than are herbivorous insects. Fungivores and secondary feeders may benefit from fungal toxins 'antibiotics' that cure parasitic infections.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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