Influence of growing Bt maize on Fusarium infection and mycotoxins content – a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/36/2012-PPSCitation:Nedělník J., Lindušková H., Kmoch M. (2012): Influence of growing Bt maize on Fusarium infection and mycotoxins content – a review. Plant Protect. Sci., 48: S18-S24.
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The literature linking Bt maize versus non-Bt maize and the changes in the fungal microflora spectrum and in the mycotoxins content have been summarised. The European corn borer reportedly promotes the infection of maize by Fusarium spp. Stalk and ear rots caused by Fusarium spp. are often related to mycotoxin accumulation in maize kernels. As a result, food and animal feed from maize are more severely contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins: e.g. fumonisins (FUM), deoxynivalenol (DON), and zearalenone (ZEA). Mycotoxins in field maize lead annually economic losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in all regions of the world. The insecticidal proteins in genetically modified hybrid Bt maize reduce insect damage caused by certain Lepidopteran larvae, which in turn can reduce the infection of the grain by the mycotoxigenic fungi. Where such insect damage is a major factor in mycotoxin contamination, Bt maize can lower mycotoxin levels in many cases. The protection of maize plants against insect damage (European corn borer) through the use of Bt technology seems to be one of the ways to reduce the contamination of maize by Fusarium species and mycotoxins.
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