George Mahuku, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Breeding Maize Resistant to Aflatoxins
The fungus Aspergillus flavus causes ear rot of maize (Zea mays L.) and produces the toxic metabolic product aflatoxin. One particularly effective method of controlling the fungus is via host plant resistance, and several resistant breeding lines have been identified. Breeding maize resistant to aflatoxins is vital for ensuring a safe food supply. Considerable work has already been done in the mapping of aflatoxin and A. flavus resistance in maize, and fully phenotyped and genotyped QTL mapping populations are available. Transferring resistance genes into elite cultivars is a promising approach to aflatoxin control.