1. Develop data for use in risk assessment of mycotoxins in human and animal health 2. Establish integrated strategies to manage and to reduce mycotoxins contamination in cereal and distiller's grains. 3.Define the regulation of mycotoxin biosynthesis and the molecular relationships among mycotoxigenic fungi.
Non-Technical Summary: Mycotoxins that associated with crops contamination can adversely affect animal and human health and result in economic losses to multiple sectors of the agriculture community including the producer, handler, processor and potentially end-user. Mycotoxins are also important due to their toxicity that can reduce crop yields and animal-product output. It may also endanger animal and human health and well-being. Mycotoxins play a global role in human and animal health; their effects are well documented such as Fusarium mycotoxins include fumonisins (neurotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, and carcinogenesis), T-2 toxin (hemorrhage, enteritis, and immune suppression), deoxynivalenol (DON; decreased weight gain), zearalenone (estrogenic), and fusarochromanone (bone deformation). Thus, the adverse effects of mycotoxins are usually related to the mycotoxin type. Mycotoxin such as aflatoxins, fumonisins, and ochratoxins are considering carcinogens to human/animal. However, the national toxicology program (National Institutes of Health) and WHO (World Health Organization) lists zearalenone as a carcinogen in mice but not in rats. Currently, there is little data on contamination of grain products and thus exposure and hazard analysis are difficult to determine. New methods to monitor and treat contaminated grain would benefit domestic consumers and provide a safe grain food supply. <P> Approach: Yearly field surveys for mycotoxins will be performed on Kansas grain crops in various areas of the state. This data will give a precise idea about the frequency of mycotoxin occurrence in Kansas and should help determine factors critical to prevent contamination in the future. This will assist to accesses risks associated with mycotoxins and prepare the US agricultural governmental agencies to deal effectively with a mycotoxin outbreak. Identify the environmental factors that effect mycotoxins contamination of cereal and distillers grain, this including studies on the interaction of multiple factors that effect mycotoxins growth and contamination. Survey of current operations will be initiated to better understand the extent of raw grain contamination and how that relates to the finished distiller's grains products. We will explore new sample preparation approaches for analysis of different mycotoxins simultaneously in various types of grain products. Mass spectrometry analytical methods, particularly using liquid chromatography for mycotoxins, will be developed to provide a wider application, easy of sample preperation, and higher sensitivity.