Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Twenty-seven mature cotton bolls with Aspergillus flavus Link colonies naturally occurring on the surface of the boll or lint were collected in the field in Arizona along with their subtending stems and peduncles. Bolls inoculated through the carpel wall 30 days after anthesis were allowed to mature in the field and were collected in the same manner. The seed and stem and peduncle sections of each boll were surface-sterilized, plated on agar media and observed for A. flavus. Seventy-eight percent of the naturally contaminated bolls with A. flavus in the seed also had the fungus in the stem and peduncle, whereas only 31% of the naturally contaminated bolls with no A. flavus in the seed had the fungus in the stem or peduncle. This difference was significant (P=0.0125), indicating a positive relationship between seed infection and stem and peduncle infection. All of the bolls inoculated through the carpel wall had A. flavus in the seed, but only 11% of the stem and peduncle sections were infected, indicating that the fungus does not readily grow downward from the boll into the supporting stem or peduncle. This unidirectional pattern of movement (upward) was further substantiated in greenhouse experiments where cotton seedlings were inoculated at the cotyledonary leaf scar with A. flavus and plants were sequentially harvested, surface sterilized and plated. Aspergillus flavus was isolated from the cotyledonary leaf scar, flower buds, developing bolls, and stem sections in the upper portion of the plant. It was never isolated from roots or stem sections below the cotyledonary node, again indicating that the fungus does not readily move downward through the plant.
Type of Medium: