Construct and develop criteria for selection and delivery of optimal Aspergillus flavus strains for competitive exclusion strategies that modify A. flavus populations in the field.
Assess competitive differences among atoxigenic strains under field conditions and the effects of long term applications of atoxigenic strains on the A. flavus community structure. Identify factors that exert selective forces on A. flavus population structure and strain character. Define distribution of atoxigenic vegetative compatibility groups and assess their adaptaton to different cotton producing areas. Define the evolutionary relationship of atoxigenic strains to both toxigenic strains and to strains of Aspergillus oryzae in order to help determine how aflatoxin producing ability may be selected against. Establish mechanisms of atoxigenicity and variability among phenotypes in response to environmental modulators of aflatoxin production.