With this kernel anomaly, red streaks form on sides of kernels and extend over the crown. Streaked kernels are more common at ear tips, especially if the husks are loose and kernels exposed. Kernel red streak is sometimes attributed to ear molds or mycotoxins. However, the red streaking is actually caused by a toxin secreted during feeding by the wheat curl mite Eriophyes tulipae, the vector of the wheat streak mosaic virus. There is no evidence that consumption of corn exhibiting kernel red streak is harmful. The streaking develops in the pericarp but does not affect the feed or nutritional value of corn. The severity of symptom expression varies among hybrids. Kernel red streak is most common on yellow dent and least common on white corn. The reddish discoloration may affect certain uses of food grade corn (may be regarded a cosmetic blemish), and may thereby reduce premiums.
Kernel Red Streak
Crop Observation and Recommendation Network
C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.