K49 Aspergillus and Bioplastic “bullets” used to combat aflatoxins in corn farming

Several species of Aspergillus fungi produce highly toxic aflatoxins that upon contaminating corn fields create huge losses in yield of useable grain.  One strain of aspergillus known as K49, does not produce aflatoxins and is quite adept at excluding its toxic cousins via biocompetitive exclusion.

A team of scientists is working to use this strain of fungus encapsulated in small cornstarch bioplastic containers to battle the growth of toxic aspergillus fungi in corn fields.  These small bioplastic “bullets” keep small rodents and birds from eating the fungi before it has an opportunity to release spores and disperse, and are also biodegradable.

To learn more about how K49 might be dispersed and how the use of the bioplastic “bullets” may help deliver other soil-applied fungi, you can read more here.


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This blog is maintained by reference librarians of the David Lubin Memorial Library, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Entries in this blog are for discussion purposes only. They express the views of their author(s) and not necessarily that of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The designations employed in this blog do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Links to other web sites are provided for the user's convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.
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