Mycotoxins are toxins produced by fungi that cause diseases on crops such as corn and wheat. Under favorable conditions, the diseases reduce grain yield and quality, and diseased grain can be contaminated with mycotoxins that are harmful to humans and animals. In North America alone, they can cause billion-dollar losses to agriculture per year.
The mission for the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) research unit is to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.