Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light barrier for fungal toxins - Researchers at the Max Rubner-Institut inhibit the production of toxins

07.05.2010
Whether oranges, grapes or strawberries – they are all liable to go mouldy after only a short period in storage. Moulds and their spores are ubiquitous, with virtually no protection possible.

Researchers at the Max Rubner-Institut have developed a process that may not completely kill the moulds, but effectively inhibits their growth: certain wavelengths of visible light disrupt the rhythm of life of many forms of mildew so successfully that they stop producing fungal toxins and in the best-case scenario, stop growing altogether.

Ochratoxins are the toxins of a large group of mildews, which also includes various Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Like most living organisms these moulds have a biological clock that regulates growth and metabolism. At the beginning of the project, Prof. Rolf Geisen, a researcher at the Max Rubner-Institut, suspected that “if we can manage to change the rhythm of this clock, then we can stop the production of toxins.”

Blue light with a wavelength of 450 nanometres has proven to be a particularly effective inhibitor. “We don’t use harmful UV radiation. The blue light is sufficient to destroy 80 per cent of the mould spores,” says Dr. Markus Schmidt-Heydt, a researcher in Prof. Geisen’s team. On the other hand, researchers have also discovered that yellow and green light promotes the growth of the moulds. Moulds are therefore certainly not ‘blind’. They have light receptors for different wavelengths. Unfortunately, however, the varieties of mould have different levels of sensitivity. Typical cereal moulds like the Fusaria react differently to being illuminated, producing higher levels of light protection pigments like carotin, for instance.

This discovery is being intensively tested for its practical application in the context of the EU project “Novel strategies for worldwide reduction of mycotoxins in foods and feed chain” (MycoRed). If the illumination strategy meets its promise in the practical testing stage then this would be a huge step forward in the battle against the spoilage of food in Germany and throughout the world.

Dr. Iris Lehmann | idw
Further information:
http://www.mri.bund.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>