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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Detection of Mycotoxins with Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay and Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Location: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens & Mycology Research Unit

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Specific objectives are: (1) Transfer a published fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA) method for detecting the fumonisin mycotoxins to Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Quality Standards and Testing Technology (HAAS-AQSTT) and introduce HAAS scientists to scientists at American companies interested in FPIA; (2) Transfer an HPLC-MS/MS method for detecting fumonisins to HAAS-AQSTT; and (3) Jointly develop new materials for use in mycotoxin detection.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
HAAS-AQSTT and Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens & Mycology Research Unit (BFP) will exchange faculty members for research, lectures, and discussions. Specifically, HAAS-AQSTT will send to NCAUR, researchers who will learn the FPIA and HPLC-MS/MS methods in the laboratories of ARS scientists. Visits are anticipated to be of a length from 1 to 3 months and would include at least two scientists from AQSTT. The first scientist would learn the two methods (FPIA and HPLC-MS/MS, objectives 1 & 2). This project would involve developing improved reagents for use in FPIA for fumonisins. Specifically this would involve the synthesis and evaluation of novel fluorescent tracers of fumonisins that might be applied in FPIA. AQSTT will bear the expenses incurred in sending scientists to NCAUR, and their living expenses during the project. NCAUR-BFP would bear the laboratory related expenses (materials, reagents, etc.). It is hoped that this first, initial project will provide a mechanism for future joint research projects involving the development of novel mycotoxin antibodies and the development of ambient ionization mass spectrometry.


3.Progress Report:

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins that can be produced by fungi that infest a wide variety of commodities such as cereal grains, ground nuts, and tree nuts. They are a food safety issue in regions of the world where agronomic practices continue to allow contaminated raw materials to enter the food supply. In countries with the resources to monitor and divert contaminated commodities the issues are largely related to feed safety, protection of animal health, and the prevention of animal diseases, and the resulting economic losses that may be caused by these toxins. Every year mycotoxins cause significant economic losses. Although the regions in which these losses occur can vary, depending upon local climatic conditions, the losses occur worldwide. In this context this cooperative agreement exists to train scientists from the Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS), Agricultural Quality Standards and Testing Technology (AQSTT) in the detection of mycotoxins in corn and wheat, and to develop a cooperation for the improvement of techniques for monitoring of these toxins in the food supply. In the past year, two scientists from HAAS-AQSTT visited ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR). The first scientist visited for 10 weeks, while the visit of the second is still ongoing. The first scientist was taught how to test for mycotoxins (fumonisins and deoxynivalenol) in corn using a rapid screening technique known as fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA). The scientist was also shown how to produce one of the reagents needed for such assays, a fluorescent tracer. Synthesis of a related tracer, not reported in the literature, was successfully concluded. This research will be continued by the scientist upon return to HAAS. While at ARS, NCAUR, the first scientist was also taught routine instrumental methods for detecting mycotoxins (LC-MS/MS), and learned the operation of a novel device for detecting surface contamination (ambient ionization mass spectroscopy). Work with the latter project will continue at NCAUR and perhaps at HAAS, provided they can obtain the instrumentation. The second visitor to NCAUR learned similar techniques in order to further the collaboration upon his return to China.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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