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Revista mexicana de fitopatología

versión On-line ISSN 2007-8080versión impresa ISSN 0185-3309


MARTINEZ PADRON, Hadassa Yuef; HERNANDEZ DELGADO, Sanjuana; REYES MENDEZ, César Augusto  y  VAZQUEZ CARRILLO, Gricelda. The Genus Aspergillus and their Mycotoxins in Maize in Mexico: Problems and Perspectives. Rev. mex. fitopatol [online]. 2013, vol.31, n.2, pp.126-146. ISSN 2007-8080.

Maize is the major crop in Mexico according to the annually cultivated area and its per capita consumption. The losses on grain production are associated with handling during field harvest, storage, transportation, and processing for either human or animal consumption. The maize grain has particular pests associated such as bacteria, insects and fungi that can cause damage. Among them, the fungal genus Aspergillus and particularly species A. flavus and A. parasiticus are outstanding due to their production of aflatoxins which cause a broad variety of toxic effects on living organisms exposed to contaminated grains. Currently, Mexican regulations establish maximum limits of aflatoxins in cereal products, but other mycotoxins are excluded. The production conditions for maize in tropical and subtropical environments, particulary in northeastern Mexico, favor infections by toxigen fungi. Therefore, it is necessary to identify and implement strategies that can reduce grain fungal contamination. Among them, outstand the use of maize hybrids with resistance to drought, pets, diseases, and high grain yield (H-436, 437, 439, 443A); integrated management of insects and fungi by chemical, cultural and/or biological treatment; and modifications of grain processing for human consumption ('flour-making'). Such measures will individual or together gradually reduce damage caused by potentially toxigenic fungi to the maize plant and ultimately to the consumer in Mexico. Here, we present an overview of current research about aflatoxigenic fungi in maize in Mexico, their implications on both human and cattle health, the tools (phytopathology, genetics of both the host and the pathogen, biochemistry, among others) to study this problem as well as those strategies for integrated management in order to date and to weight all data published until now, and then, establish essential points for further research.

Palabras llave : Aflatoxins; Integrated Pest Management Strategies; Aflatoxigenic fungi; Zea mays L..

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