Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research offers means to detoxify mycotoxin-contaminated grain intended for ethanol, animal feed

13.09.2011
Using barley as the raw material for ethanol production results in an additional product – dried grains for animal feed.

But the presence of a fungal pathogen sometimes found in barley can result in a lethal toxin, called mycotoxin, in the animal feed. Now, Virginia Tech and Agricultural Research Service, USDA researchers have shown that newly developed transgenic yeast used during fermentation will help modify the mycotoxin in the animal feed product to a less toxic form. The research is published online in the September issue of Biotechnology for Biofuels.

New varieties of hulless winter barley have almost as much starch as corn and can be grown at times and in places where corn cannot, offering a flexible resource. When processed for ethanol, the versatile grain also provides a wholesome animal feed – unless contaminated. Of particular concern are trichothecene mycotoxins, which inhibit protein synthesis, an essential function of all tissues. The result can be immune system suppression and reproductive problems. Animals usually refuse to eat infected grain; otherwise death would be the eventual result.

"So we decided to see if the toxin could be modified to a less toxic product during fermentation," said Piyum A. Khatibi of Long Island, .N.Y., at that time a Ph.D. student in plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Khatibi was working on the problem of trichothecene contamination of grains with David Schmale, associate professor of food safety and plant biosecurity in the college, and plant breeder Carl Griffey, professor of crop and soil environmental science in the college. Griffey's barley team has developed resistant varieties of barley, as well as high starch varieties. The Virginia Tech barley team, made up of Wynse Brooks, research associate; Mark Vaughn, research specialist; and Greg Berger of Schulenburg, Tex., a Ph.D. student, all in crop and soil environmental sciences, has been collaborating with Kevin Hicks, team leader, and John Nghiem, chemical engineer, at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Sustainable Biofuels research team in Wyndmoor, Pa. – a partnership that began in 2001.

The Virginia Tech and USDA researchers decided to go after the most common mycotoxin in barley, deoxynivalenol (DON).

Previous research on a fungus (Fusarium graminearum) that produces DON in barley has identified several genes that convert trichothecenes to less toxic products. The research team selected two of these genes (TRI101 and TRI201), introduced them into a laboratory yeast strain (RW2802), and compared the results to commercial yeast that has been optimized to produce fuel ethanol. The researchers fermented four varieties of barley that Griffey's team created for biofuel use, hulless Eve and VA06H-25 and hulled Thoroughbred and Price.

Measurements of the resulting mash and animal feed revealed that DON had indeed been converted to a less toxic form (3ADON) during fermentation, with the transgenic yeast expressing either TRI101 or TRI201. The researchers wrote, "We found large reductions in DON via conversion (52.4 percent to 58.1 percent) during fermentation of the hulless barley line VA06H-25, which contained the highest levels of DON in its starting ground grain."

"But in all cases, using the yeast with the added genes resulted in decreased DON as it was converted to the less toxic form (3ADON)," said Khatibi.

"To our knowledge, this is the first detailed report of yeast expressing a DON modification enzyme during barley ethanol fermentation," said Schmale.

Khatibi said, "This study sets the foundation for modifying mycotoxins during fermentation and provides a model for future work when we find an enzyme that can actually destroy the toxin."

The research was supported by Schmale and Griffey's grants from the USDA, Virginia Agriculture Council, and Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.

The project was part of Khatibi's dissertation research. He graduated in August and is now a postdoctoral associate working in Schmale's lab continuing his work in mycotoxin detoxification.

The article, " Conversion of deoxynivalenol to 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol in barley derived fuel ethanol co-products with yeast expressing trichothecene 3-O-acetyltransferases," was written by Khatibi; Justin Montanti, engineering technician with the Sustainable Biofuels research team; Nghiem; Hicks; Berger; Brooks; Griffey; and Schmale.

The article is posted at http://www.biotechnologyforbiofuels.com/content/4/1/26

Learn more about the Schmale lab at http://www.ppws.vt.edu/~dschmale/

Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cnidarians remotely control bacteria
21.09.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Immune cells may heal bleeding brain after strokes
21.09.2017 | NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>