Amol Nankar, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Lubbock, TX, Gary Odvody, Corpus Christi Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Corpus Christi, TX, Xinzhi Ni, Crop Genetics and Breeding Research, USDA-ARS, TIFTON, GA, W. Paul Williams, Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Mississippi, MS, Thomas Marek, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Amarillo, TX and Wenwei Xu, Texas A&M Agrilife Research & Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Lubbock, TX
Aflatoxins produced by Aspergillusflavus is a serious concern to livestock health and potential cause of cancer and birth defects in humans. Pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination has been a chronic and complex problem for corn production in the southern United States and many parts of the world under warm climate. Use of resistant hybrids is an effective and economical approach to reduce the aflatoxin contamination. The objective of this project was to evaluate aflatoxin resistance from diverse lines which were developed from breeding crosses between tropical and temperate corn germplasm. Forty-three experimental hybrids and seven commercial hybrids were grown in replicated trials in Corpus Christi and Halfway, TX in 2014 and 2015. Plants were inoculated with high toxin producing strain of A. flavus with the silk channel method at Halfway and ground kernel inoculation at Corpus Christi. At least ten inoculated ears per plot were harvested and grain samples were analyzed for aflatoxin levels. Results showed that the hybrids of the inbred lines developed from ANTIG01:N16 had not only low aflatoxin but also produced high grain yield when compared with commercial hybrids. ANTIG01:N16 is a breeding population developed by crossing an non-stiff stalk elite termperate line and ANTIG01. ANTIG01 is a yellow semi-dent tropical Criollo race from Antigua. The ANTIG01:N16-derived lines are a useful source of aflatoxin resistance and high grain yield.