Aspergillus ear and kernel rot
Aspergillus flavus
An Aspergillus flavus conidiospore
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetes
Order: Eurotiales
Family: Trichocomaceae
Genus: Aspergillus
Species: Aspergillus flavus
Aspergillus ear and kernel rot
Ear rot

Aspergillus ear and kernel rot (Aspergillus flavus) is a fungus. It is a common mold in the environment and can cause storage problems in stored grains. It can also be a human pathogen, associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and sometimes causing corneal, otomycotic, and nasoorbital infections.


Gray-green, powdery mold that starts at the tip of the ear or follows insect tracks. Primarily considered a storage mould.[1]


To protect tree nuts and corn plants that are affected by A. flavus scientists of the Agricultural Research Service found that treating these plants with the yeast Pichia anomala reduced the growth of A. flavus. The study showed that treating pistachio trees with P. anomala inhibited the growth of A. flavus up to 97% when compared to untreated trees.[2] The yeast successfully competes with A. flavus for space and nutrients, ultimately limiting its growth.[3]


Plant a hybrid with ear rot resistance; avoid planting corn on corn, especially under conservation tillage, and reduce stress on the plants with adequate fertilisation and good insect pest management.[1]



  1. a b Troubleshooting Abnormal Corn Ears and Related Disorders "Aspergillus ear and kernel rot". Corn Cropping Systems. Ohio State University. Retrieved: 2010-11-07.
  2. Klich MA. (2007). Aspergillus flavus: the major producer of aflatoxin. Molecular Plant Pathology 8(6): 713-22.
  3. Helpful Yeast Battles Food-Contaminating Aflatoxin. USDA Agricultural Research Service. January 27, 2010.
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