Effect of soil temperature and drought on peanut pod and stem temperatures relative to Aspergillus flavus invasion and aflatoxin contamination

Mycopathologia. 1984 Apr 30;86(1):51-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00437229.


Peanut stem and pod temperatures of plants growing in irrigated, drought, drought-heated soil, and drought-cooled soil treatments were determined near the end of the growing season. Mean soil temperatures of the treatments during this period were 21.5 degrees, 25.5 degrees, 30 degrees and 20 degrees C, respectively. Peanut stem temperatures in all drought treatments reached a maximum of ca. 40 degrees C and for 6-7 h each day were as much as 10 degrees C warmer than irrigated peanut stems. Pod temperatures in drought-heated soil and drought treatments were ca. 34 degrees C and 30 degrees C, respectively, for several hours each day. As pod temperatures approached the optimum for A. flavus growth (ca. 35 degrees C), the proportion of kernels colonized and aflatoxin concentrations increased. Increased plant temperature without accompanying pod temperature increases (drought-cooled soil) resulted in colonization percentages and aflatoxin concentrations only slightly higher than those of the irrigated peanuts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxins / analysis*
  • Aflatoxins / biosynthesis
  • Arachis / analysis
  • Arachis / microbiology*
  • Aspergillus flavus / growth & development*
  • Aspergillus flavus / metabolism
  • Aspergillus flavus / physiology
  • Plant Diseases*
  • Soil
  • Spores, Fungal
  • Temperature
  • Water


  • Aflatoxins
  • Soil
  • Water