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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Bhatnagar, Deepak
Research Leader

Food and Feed Safety Research Unit

Mission Statement



The mission of the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit addresses priority areas of food safety, health and nutrition, and is directed towards (1) using a genomics approach to gain understanding of the genetic regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis; (2) characterization of compounds and genes governing production of these antifungal compounds for use in applications to control toxin-producing fungi or other fungi that reduce the quality and safety of food and feed; (3) elucidation, using genomic and proteomic tools, of the complex mechanisms governing expression of genes/enzymes which regulate aflatoxin synthesis during the plant-fungus interaction; and using this knowledge to enhance host-resistance against fungal invasion; (4) manipulation of agroecosystems involving complex interactions between the toxin-producing fungus, other endemic microflora and the crop plant (particularly as affected by climate change) to reduce levels of fungus and/or toxin in field environments; (5) characterization of the mechanisms of induction of isoflavonoids in legumes, and elucidation of anti-cancer and anti-obesity activities of these compounds in animal systems; and (6) integration of research information into practical procedures for assuring a safe, domestic supply of food and feed; and enhancing global food security through sustainable agriculture.

Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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