Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
Project Number: 6054-42000-026-11-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Mar 26, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2018
Characterize the diversity of aflatoxin-producing and closely related fungi resident across the Pakistan and identify the genotypes best adapted to cropping systems and contrast these with those resident in other warm agricultural areas. Identify characteristics of biological control agents of particular value in Pakistan for potential use in limiting aflatoxin contamination of foods and feeds. Optimize biological control methods for preventing aflatoxin contamination in maize and other crops of regional importance in Pakistan and disseminate knowledge to industries and communities through training and adaptation of procedures to optimize cost/benefit considerations.
Scientists, faculty, students, and staff with industry and government departments in Pakistan and the United States Department of Agriculture, ARS (Agricultural Research Service) will collaborate in both laboratory based and field based aspects as resources permit. Crop samples from Pakistan will be sent to the USDA/ARS laboratory and microbiological and molecular analyses will be performed to characterize aflatoxin-producing and closely related fungi associated with maize production in Pakistan. Genotypes of potential value to aflatoxin mitigation in Pakistan will be identified and formulated into biological control agents. Methods for producing biocontrol products in Pakistan will be optimized to be cost effective in the targeted cropping systems. Advances in biocontrol will be shared with agricultural industries in the U.S. Training programs will be collaboratively developed with intent to disseminate knowledge of biocontrol throughout production areas and effect real world aflatoxin reductions in crops.