Aflatoxin Free Crops

Technology #ua15-198

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Researchers
Monica Schmidt
Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Managed By
Tod McCauley
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 626-7916

Title: Aflatoxin-free crops

 

Invention: A method of eliminating or substantially reducing aflatoxin in crops by inhibiting Aspergillus fungus, a biosynthetic precursor to aflatoxin. By inhibiting the primary elements of aflatoxin’s biosynthetic pathway, aflatoxin can be eliminated altogether.

 

Background: The inventor has conducted successful experiments using this RNA interference technique on T2 maize plants. The transgenic plants infected with Aspergillus strains showed either significantly lower aflatoxin levels than control groups or had so little aflatoxin that it was undetectable.

 

Applications:

  • Commercial farming, where aflatoxin is a common threat to the humans and animals consuming the infected plants.
  • Biological research, which benefits from any information about mycotoxins related to the genus

 

Advantages:

  • Greater success with a permanent process compared to current practices, which require periodic reapplication, limiting aflatoxin production by up to 80%
  • Avoids discarding or retreating infected crops
  • Eliminates crop waste
  • Low resource and labor investment for farmers
  • Improves the health and safety of consumers