Mycotoxin Research


The Mycotoxin Research Group at the Center for Analytical Chemistry

Description of research objectives

Besides our task to provide sound analytical data which are needed in support of our cooperation partners who breed more resistant crop plants or develop new postharvest detoxification strategies, our main research objectives are

 

  • to develop novel sensitive, accurate and validated analytical liquid and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS and GC-MS) based methods especially for multi-toxin determination in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the mycotoxin spectrum occurring in various types of food and agricultural commodities. The Development of the online platform MyToolBox (cooperation of 23 partners from 11 countries; www.mytoolbox.eu), which suggests the most effective measures to prevent and reduce mycotoxins along the food and feed production from field to fork.
  •  to establish a comprehensive and standardised metabolomics platform for the study of the interaction between Fusarium spp. and plants, especially wheat to elucidate the role of mycotoxins (in cooperation with the Research Group Metabolomics and Bioactive Substances at the Center for Analytical Chemistry and the Special Research Program SFB Fusarium).
  • to strengthen the cooperation and establish a novel platform for the comprehensive assessment of food and feed safety with two other partners working in this fields - Queen´s University Belfast and University of Chemistry and Technology Prague - within the EU funded project MultiCoop (www.multicoop.eu).
  • to develop antibody based lateral flow devices (LFD) for the rapid determination of mycotoxins in cereals and foods (in cooperation with the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Rapid Test Systems at the Center for Analytical Chemistry)
  • to develop novel quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) screening methods to identify and quantify specifically the DNA of mycotoxin producing fungi which allow an early classification of potentially contaminated products (in cooperation with the Research Group Molecular Diagnostics of the Vienna University of Technology)
  • to investigate the metabolism of mycotoxins by plants, microbes and animals, to  study the fate of  masked and bound mycotoxins in vivo and to study the microbial interactions of free and bound toxins with a view to identifying possible detoxification routes (Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Metabolism)

The highly sophisticated instrumentation and qualified staff has become available through a number of large scale projects including the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Research (project period 2002-2009, leader: Rudolf Krska), the recently granted Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Metabolism (leader: Franz Berthiller) and the Special Research Programme (SFB) Fusarium as well as through other regional (Technopol) national and EC funded projects, such as MyToolbox.