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Aspergillus Ear Rot

  • © Purdue University, Plant and Pest Diagnostic LaboratoryPathogen(s) causing disease: Aspergillus flavus, A. glaucus, A. niger  

    Symptoms: Aspergillus niger appears as a black mold on infected kernels. A. flavus is a greenish-yellow mold growing on damaged kernels. A. glaucus is a greenish mold. Most common at tip of ear and scattered on a few kernels on ear. 

    Conditions: A. flavus is more common following hot, dry weather, injury by drought stress and insect damage. A. flavuscan produce a carcinogenic secondary metabolite known as aflatoxin.  It can grow at temperatures higher than 90° F, and grain moisture content as low as 14-15 percent.   

    Management: In storage, controlled by drying corn to a moisture content below 15 per cent as soon after harvest as possible. In the field, avoid insect or mechanical damage to ears. 

    Purdue University
    University of Illinois

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