Preharvest Aflatoxin Contamination of Peanuts, Corn and Cottonseed: A Review

  • Urban L. Diener


Aflatoxin contamination of peanuts, corn, and cottonseed by Aspergillus flavus Link and Aspergillus parasiticus Speare may occur before harvest in the field or after harvest during drying, handling, and storage. Aflatoxin B1, formed only by these two fungi, is the most potent naturally occurring carcinogen known, causing liver damage and mortality in most domestic and experimental animals and humans (CAST, 1979). A. flavus appears to be adapted to the aerial environment being dominant in corn, cottonseed, and tree nuts, while A. parasiticus is the primary invader of peanut pods and kernels in the soil. These closely related species are unspecialized saprophytes that are semithermophilic and semixerophytic as well (Marsh and Simpson, 1984). Hereafter, A. flavus may refer to either species or they may be specifically identified in the text.


Aflatoxin Production Aflatoxin Contamination Corn Kernel Cotton Boll Infected Kernel 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urban L. Diener
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, Alabama Agricultural Experiment StationAuburn UniversityUSA

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