, 213:93 | Cite as

Determining resistance to Fusarium verticillioides and fumonisin accumulation in African maize inbred lines resistant to Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxins

  • Lindy Joy Rose
  • Sheila Okoth
  • Ilze Beukes
  • Abigael Ouko
  • Marili Mouton
  • Bradley Charles Flett
  • Dan Makumbi
  • Altus Viljoen


Fusarium verticillioides and Aspergillus flavus cause Fusarium ear rot (FER) and Aspergillus ear rot (AER) of maize, respectively. Both pathogens are of concern to producers as they reduce grain yield and affect quality. F. verticillioides and A. flavus also contaminate maize grain with the mycotoxins fumonisins and aflatoxins, respectively, which has been associated with mycotoxicosis in humans and animals. The occurrence of common resistance mechanisms to FER and AER has been reported. Hence, ten Kenyan inbred lines resistant to AER and aflatoxin accumulation were evaluated for resistance to FER, F. verticillioides colonisation and fumonisin accumulation; and compared to nine South African lines resistant to FER and fumonisin accumulation. Field trials were conducted at three localities in South Africa and two localities in Kenya. FER severity was determined by visual assessment, while F. verticillioides colonisation and fumonisin content were quantified by real-time PCR and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Significant genotype x environment interactions was determined at each location (P ≤ 0.05). Kenyan inbred CML495 was most resistant to FER and F. verticillioides colonisation, and accumulated the lowest concentration of fumonisins across localities. It was, however, not significantly more resistant than Kenyan lines CML264 and CKL05015, and the South African line RO549 W, which also exhibited low FER severity (≤5%), fungal target DNA (≤0.025 ng μL−1) and fumonisin levels (≤2.5 mg kg−1). Inbred lines resistant to AER and aflatoxin accumulation appear to be promising sources of resistance to F. verticillioides and fumonisin contamination.


Fusarium ear rot Aspergillus ear rot Resistance Mycotoxins Maize inbred lines 



The MAIZE Competitive Grants Initiative, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and CGIAR, South African Maize Trust and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF): Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) of South Africa are acknowledged for funding of this research. We also thank Dr. K. Mashingaidze from the Agricultural Research Council–Grain Crops Institute (ARC-GCI), South Africa for providing the inbred line seed; Drs Schoeman and Janse van Rensburg (ARC-GCI) for fungal isolates; Dr. H. Vismer from the Medical Research Council—Programme on Mycotoxins and Experimental Carcinogenesis unit, South Africa for providing the fungal isolate MRC 826 and Drs M. van der Rijst and M. Booyse from ARC-Infruitec for statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Agricultural Research Council – Grain Crops InstitutePotchefstroomSouth Africa
  4. 4.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)NairobiKenya

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