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MIMYCS - A Framework for Simulating Maize Kernels Mycotoxin Contamination in Europe

Rossi, Emanuela
JRC - Joint Research Centre - European Commission
Start date
End date
Maize is one of the main crops grown for human food and livestock feed, using more than 8.5 million ha of cropland annually in Europe. The crop is heavily affected by mycotoxin problems throughout the world. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds recognised as the principal cause of human and animal chronic intoxications. In addiction to health risk, regulations of the European Union and other countries of the world on the maximum levels of mycotoxins in cereals have had an important socio-economic impact on the global cereal market. Mycotoxin contamination is the result of a complex pathosystem formed by maize, insect borers and toxigenic fungi, influenced by environmental and climate conditions and by agro-management.

The objective of the project MIMYCS (Maize Infection and MYcotoxin Contamination Simulator) is the development of a simulation model system linking existing models and developing original approaches for estimating the behaviour of the pathosystem in response to weather conditions and agro-management in Europe. The pathosystem will be simulated using deterministic approaches, and process-based.

The model will be implemented as a software component to be first used in the crop growth and monitoring system of the Joint Research Centre AGRI4CAST of the European Commission. The implementation will follow the software architecture for reusable components in use at JRC. The development of MIMYCS via the component based methodology will allow an easy re-use of it for (i) performing simulations to inform European policy makers involved in food and feed safety of the effects of European mycotoxin policies and help them to fix safe and, at the same time, feasible contamination limits, (ii) performing simulation about climate change scenario effects on the pathosystem and on future maize grain safety, (iii) assisting maize producers in controlling mycotoxin contamination through agro-management and improving maize grain safety.

Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
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Project number
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins