The work program is organised in 10 work packages (WP), each one with specific targets
defined by deliverables and milestones.
WP 1. Optimization of plant resistance & fungicide use
Targets: wheat (deoxynivalenol, nivalenol), maize (fumonisins). The objectives are: a) to decrease toxin contamination by Fusarium
head blight (FHB) and Fusarium
(FER) in wheat and maize; b) to characterize host factors that influence mycotoxin regulation and metabolism in wheat and maize(Tasks 1.2, 1.3);
c) to optimize fungicide use in wheat and
WP 2. Biocontrol reducing mycotoxins in cropping systems Targets:
maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (mycotoxins), grape-wine (ochratoxin A), peanuts (aflatoxins).
The objectives are a) to prevent fumonisin formation in maize and mycotoxin formation in
wheat by competitive colonization of stubbles of preceding maize crops;
b) to reduce ochratoxin A content in grape-wine by antagonistic micro-organisms; c) to reduce mycotoxin content in wheat by antagonistic micro-organisms; d) to reduce aflatoxin contents in nuts and maize by non-toxigenic Aspergillus flavus strains; e) to evaluate the economical feasibility of production and marketing of selected biocontrol agents.
WP 3. Modelling and development of Decision Support System
Targets: maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (mycotoxins), grape-wine (ochratoxin A), nuts (pistachio and peanuts) (aflatoxins).
The objective is to use
predictive models for mycotoxin producing fungi to forecast risk level
associated to different crops in different geographic areas and years
mainly based on meteorological conditions. The use of predictive models
will allow a) to describe the contamination level of different
crops in real time and predict its value at harvesting to rationalise
the harvest/post-harvest logistic; b) to simulate the effect of cropping system and post harvest conditions to optimise pre-and post-harvest product management; c) to draw different scenarios based on real and simulated meteorological data.
WP 4. Novel post-harvest and storage handling practices
Targets: maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (trichothecenes, ochratoxin A), peanuts (aflatoxins) and nuts (aflatoxins).
The objective of this WP is to
develop innovative and novel practical strategies for post-harvest
handling which can minimise mycotoxin exposure in the food and feed
chains. The WP will a) determine the relationship between
respiratory activity in a stored grain ecosystem of mycotoxigenic
moulds and toxin production for systems modelling of efficient drying
and storage regimes for safe storage; b) develop novel
environmental and physical drying and control systems which can be used
for grain and nut handling and storage to minimise mycotoxin
contamination; c) examine the efficacy of novel potentiators
for inhibition of mycotoxigenic moulds by synergistic effects on
mixtures of contaminating mycotoxins by using traditional and ‘omics’
technology; d) develop an ambient intelligence system for predicting and controlling fungal contamination.
WP 5. Novel application of food processing technologies
Targets: maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (mycotoxins), nuts (almond, pistachios and apricot seeds) (aflatoxins).
The specific objectives are: a) to reduce gastrointestinal absorption of mycotoxins by using dietary fibres; b) to metabolize mycotoxins by microorganisms; c) to assess the efficacy and safety of food processing procedures in reducing mycotoxin content. The multi-mycotoxin approach will be used to measure the efficacy of the proposed procedures.
WP 6. Advanced technologies for diagnostics, quantitative detection and novel approaches to control toxigenic fungi Targets:
maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (trichothecenes and other toxins), grapes (ochratoxin A) and dried fruits (aflatoxins). The overall objective
is to study the
biodiversity of toxigenic fungi and to develop new, rapid, cheap and robust molecular methods for detection, quantification and monitoring the biosynthesis of mycotoxins on specific hosts. The WP
study the toxigenic fungal biodiversity by using the developed molecular methods to monitor mycotoxin risks b) analyze the influence of stress on the activation of ochratoxin A (OTA)
biosynthetic genes in Penicillium
, fumonisins inFusarium
and aflatoxins (AFBs) in Aspergillus; c)
study the influence of stress on the biosynthesis of mycotoxins;
develop new approaches to prevent mycotoxin biosynthesis based on principles developed in this WP.
WP 7. Advanced analytical tools for rapid multi-toxins detection of mycotoxins and relevant biomarkers Targets:
maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (mycotoxins), peanuts (aflatoxins). The main objective
of the horizontal WP7 is to provide or validate analytical methods required in
this project and beyond for mycotoxin determination including a)
multi-toxin analyses, metabolite profiling and identification by LC-MS/MS to monitor the conjugation, transformation and
bio-degradation of mycotoxins in plants and fungal isolates; b)multi-mycotoxin biomarkers for trichothecenes, zearalenone and fumonisins; c)
rapid methods for mycotoxin detection and
quantification including lateral flow devices and fluorescence polarisation methods.
WP 8. Information/dissemination and education Targets:
maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (trichothecenes and other toxins), grapes (ochratoxin A) and dried fruits (aflatoxins).
improve co-operation in the area by transfer of knowledge to developing countries (Africa, Asia, South America) and sharing information with advanced third countries (USA, Canada
and Australia) by conferences, workshops, training and short mobility missions; b) identify priorities of common interest by sharing results of European research with the major international networks
involved in the field of mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi;c)
address the evaluation of research policy at the global level through conferences focused on advanced research tools;
reinforce the consortiumof international experts in the area of mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi.
WP 9. General Management
Objectives: a) steering the project so that it remains relevant in spite of the changes that may occur in the area; b) ensure that the project progresses as described in the work plan; c)
achieve maximum efficiency of the infrastructure available to support
the project, with special attention paid to financial, logistic,
information, and coordination issues in terms of quality and conformity
to EC rules and procedures.
WP 10. Demonstrating the creation of an “ambient intelligence (AmI)”, strategies post-harvest and the collection of physical parameters
Targets: maize (fumonisins and aflatoxins), wheat (trichothecenes and other toxins).
Objectives: a) demonstrate how
the techniques and methodologies developed in WP4 are useful to control
the development/production of mycotoxins and they are appropriate for
the purpose of the project.