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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Research Project #441776

Research Project: Strategies to Reduce Mycotoxin Contamination in Animal Feed and its Effect in Poultry Production Systems

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Project Number: 6040-42000-046-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 28, 2022
End Date: Mar 27, 2027

1. Monitor and mitigate mycotoxins in the poultry feed chain for improved safety and performance. 1.A. Develop and evaluate novel preharvest strategies to reduce mycotoxin contamination in corn and improve sustainability using biological control fungi, Sarocladium zeae (Sz) and Trichoderma harzianum (Th). 1.B. Employ improved mycotoxin detection to identify opportunities for reducing mycotoxin contamination in feed manufacturing practices including storage and management at the feed mill and farm. 2. Determine the impact of chronic mycotoxin exposure on common food safety bacteria, gut health, immunity, and the pathophysiology of poultry. 2.A. Describe the impact of chronic ingestion of combined mycotoxins on intestinal morphology, microbiome, and immune response in poultry, and identify biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure. 2.B. Evaluate the role of FUM and DON on foodborne pathogen loads in NE-induced broilers. 2.C. Investigate the effects of co-contamination of mycotoxins on poultry and identify strategies including the use of feed additives to reduce the harmful effects.

1. Control and management of mycotoxins in corn, other feed ingredients, and finished feed. Hundreds of fungal isolates will be collected in Georgia to characterize the antagonism and biocontrol potential of Sarocladium zeae (Sz) against Fusarium verticillioides (Fv), Aspergillus flavus (Af) and other mycotoxigenic fungi. This will include assessment of Sz chemotype variation and population structure, including identification of pyrrocidine super-producer strains capable of seed-to-seed vertical transmission. Pyrrocidine produced by Sz suppresses Fv fumonisin production, and the involvement of the gene FvZBD1 will be elucidated. Agricultural nitrous oxide emissions will be reduced along with mycotoxins by use of a non-emitting Trichoderma biocontrol agent. Further, new technology for the rapid detection and quantification of multiple mycotoxins will be deployed for testing the poultry feed chain. Lastly, organic acids and essential oils will be evaluated for inhibition of fungal colonization and postharvest mycotoxin contamination. 2. Impacts of subclinical and chronic doses of fumonisin and deoxynivalenol mycotoxins on poultry gut health, microbiome, immune parameters, and intestinal morphology. Identify miRNA biomarkers to detect subclinical mycotoxicosis in poultry. Also evaluate the role of fumonisin and deoxynivalenol on foodborne pathogen loads in broilers with necrotic enteritis. Evaluate microbial in vivo degradation of mycotoxins in poultry by supplementing feed with deactivators and synbiotics.