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Mycotoxins: Biosecurity and Food Safety

Steffen, Brian
University of Minnesota
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  1. Develop data for use in risk assessment of mycotoxins in human and animal health.
  2. Develop new techniques and improve current assays to identify and measure mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi in cereal grains.
  3. Establish integrated strategies to manage and to prevent mycotoxin contamination in cereal grains.
  4. Define the regulation of mycotoxin biosynthesis and the molecular relationships between mycotoxigenic fungi.
More information
Non-Technical Summary: Fusarium head blight and its associated mycotoxins can reduce the quality of cereals. Mycotoxin-contaminated grain can result in many health problems when fed to animals, particularly swine This project aims to identify wheat and barley germplasm that is resistant to Fusarium head blight and the accumulation of mycotoxins.

Approach: Wild and cultivated wheat and barley germplasm is evaluated for resistance to Fusarium head blight and the accumulation of mycotoxins (especially deoxynivalenol) in the field and greenhouse. Accessions exhibiting low levels of mycotoxins are crossed with agronomically advanced germplasm to introgress resistance. These genetic populations also serve to characterize the number, effect and chromosomal position of loci contributing to FHB resistance and low mycotoxin accumulation.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Food Defense and Integrity