Kernels from two maize populations, MAS:gk and MAS:pw,nf, showed significant postharvest resistance to aflatoxin contamination by Aspergillus flavus but showed no significant inter-population variation for this resistance. Growth of A. flavus on both populations was significantly less than on susceptible control lines. Kernels from the resistant populations retained resistance when wounded through the pericarp prior to inoculation with A. flavus, despite the fact that the exposed endosperm supported good fungal growth. Kernels from these populations also retained resistance when they were acetone washed before inoculation. Resistance to aflatoxin contamination was lost in kernels that were autoclaved, crushed, or embryo wounded. All assays were incubated under conditions favorable to kernel germination. Results suggest that postharvest resistance to aflatoxin contamination in these two populations is related to metabolic activities of the living com embryo.

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