news, features, articles and disease information for the crop industry

Aspergillus Ear Rot

© Purdue University, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

Pathogen(s) causing disease:

Aspergillus flavus, A. glaucus, A. niger 


Aspergillus niger appears as a black mold on infected kernels. A. flavus is a greenish-yellow mold growing on damaged kernels. A. glaucus is a greenish mold. Most common at tip of ear and scattered on a few kernels on ear.


A. flavus is more common following hot, dry weather, injury by drought stress and insect damage. A. flavuscan produce a carcinogenic secondary metabolite known as aflatoxin. It can grow at temperatures higher than 90° F, and grain moisture content as low as 14-15 per cent. 


In storage, controlled by drying corn to a moisture content below 15 per cent as soon after harvest as possible. In the field, avoid insect or mechanical damage to ears.


Purdue University
University of Illinois

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