The mission of the Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research Unit (TMRU) is to provide the technology necessary to reduce or eliminate hazards of naturally occurring toxins of fungal or plant-fungal endophyte origin that adversely affect poultry, livestock, or human health, and thereby lower the value of corn, wheat, and forage grasses.
To accomplish this mission, TMRU conducts research under two work units. The general objective of the first work unit, "Reduction of Fusarium Mycotoxins as Concerns of Agricultural Commodities", is to enhance consumer and export market acceptability of U.S. agricultural commodities such as corn and wheat that can, under certain conditions, be contaminated by Fusarium fungi that produce mycotoxins. Thus, this work unit is developed for studies of the toxicological parameters associated with one or several mycotoxins, individually and combined, as well as the in vivo toxicity of Fusarium species isolated from corn, wheat and other cereal grains.
The general objective of the second work unit, "Control and Prevention of Mycotoxin Formation by the Corn Endophyte Fusarium moniliforme", is to control and/or prevent the formation of mycotoxins in corn that are produced by the fungus F. moniliforme (=F. veriticillioides). This second work unit encompasses both the ecological production and accumulation of F. moniliforme-specific toxins, and the prevention of these toxins in planta, primarily through biological control strategies such as harmless bacteria.