Deciphering mycological complexity
The Applied Mycology Group is an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence in specialised areas of the application of fungal technology in the food, environment and health sectors.
The group has pioneered the development of experimental and modelling approaches to understand the relationship between environmental factors on the germination, growth and inhibition of key food spoilage fungi and mycotoxigenic species in a wide range of staple commodities. They are now leading international research in the area of mycotoxigenic fungi and climate change.
The in depth understanding of the molecular ecology and ecophysiology of key mycotoxigenic fungi is being utilised in the development of minimisation and prevention strategies for mycotoxins. The Applied Mycology Group is a dynamic and proactive research group which includes our academic staff, post-doctoral scientists and a group of six-eight PhD students at any one time.
- Controlling mycotoxin production and mycotoxin-producing fungi;
- Understand the effect that predicted climate changes have on both growth and toxin production by different species and on different substrates;
- Identification of VOCs that can be used as fungal biomarkers for the early detection of fungal spoilage;
- Provide better storage management systems for commodities prone to fungal spoilage by integrating environmental parameters and biological models;
- Developing bio-control agents to inhibit pathogenic fungi and pests, including formulation approaches;
- Discovery/production of novel anti-oxidants, essential oils and compounds which may control spoilage moulds and mycotoxin production;
- Extraction and purification of high value products with potential antifungal compounds;
- Increasing our ability to bioremediate polluted sites using fungal inoculants.
Current research projects
- NutriNuts: Mitigation of aflatoxin occurrence in Ethiopian peanuts used in therapeutic food products to reduce malnutrition in Africa (2019-2022)
- Interreg North-West Europe: Real-time “interactive storage” quality control in fresh agro products (QCAP) (2017-2020)
- H2020: Safe Food and Feed through an Integrated ToolBox for Mycotoxin Management (Mytoolbox) (2016-2020)
- BBSRC seeding catalyst: Early detection of Fusarium langsethiae in susceptible oats cultivars by hyper-spectral imaging (2018-2019)
- Innovate UK: Non-invasive photonic sensors for detection of latent fungal infections and internal rot or disorders in fruit (2014-2017)
- BBSRC/Science Foundation Ireland: Oats for the future: deciphering potential of host resistance and RNAi to minimise mycotoxin contamination under present and future climate scenarios (2016-2020)
- Innovate UK funded project: Decision support systems for minimising mould spoilage and mycotoxins in stored cereals (2015-2018)
- Innovate UK-SENAI (Brazil): Insect based protein in collaboration with Entocycle Ltd. (2016-2018)
- Newton Fund Institutional Links project with Vietnam: Enhancing food safety and security of maize and rice: minimisation and prevention strategies to control spoilage moulds and mycotoxins during post-harvest storage in Vietnam (2016-2018)
- Cervini C., Verkeecke-Vaessen C., Ferrara M., García-Cela E., Magistà D., Medina A., Gallo A., Magan, N., Perrone, G. 2019. Interacting climate change factors (CO2 and temperature cycles) effects on growth, secondary metabolite gene expression and phenotypic ochratoxin A production by Aspergillus carbonarius strains on a grape-based matrix. Fungal Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.11.001
- Garcia-Cela E., Gari Sanchez, F.J, Verheecke-Vaessen, C., Medina A., Sulyok M., Krska, R. & Magan N. 2019. Carbon dioxide production as an indicator of Aspergillus flavus colonisation and aflatoxins/cyclopiazonic acid contamination in shelled peanuts stored under different interacting abiotic factors. Fungal Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.10.003
- Marcon Gasperini, A.; Rodrigues-Sixtos, A.; Verheecke-Vaessen, C.; Garcia-Cela, E.; Medina, A. & Magan, N. 2019. Resilience of biocontrol for aflatoxin minimisation strategies: climate change abiotic factors may affect control in non-GM and GM-maize cultivars. Frontiers in Microbiology. 10, 2525
- Mylona, K., Garcia-Cela, E., Sulyok, M., Medina, A. & Magan, N. 2019. Influence of Two Garlic-Derived Compounds, Propyl Propane Thiosulfonate (PTS) and Propyl Propane Thiosulfinate (PTSO), on Growth and Mycotoxin Production by Fusarium Species In Vitro and in Stored Cereals. Toxins, 11, 495-501.
- Verheecke-Vaessen, C., Diez-Gutierrez, L., Renaud, J., Sumarah, M., Medina, A., & Magan, N. 2019. Interacting climate change environmental factors effects on Fusarium langsethiae growth, expression of Tri genes and T-2/HT-2 mycotoxin production on oat-based media and in stored oats. Fungal Biology, 123, 618-624
- Garcia-Cela E., Kiaitsi E., Sulyok M., Krska R., Medina A., Petit Damico I. & Magan N. 2019. Influence of storage environment on maize grain: CO2 production, dry matter losses and aflatoxins contamination. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2018.1556403
- Thie Iamanaka B., de Souza Lopes A., Martins L. M., Frisvad J.C., Medina A., Magan N., Sartori D., Pelisson Massi F., Pelegrinelli Fungaro M.H., Taniwaki M.H. 2019. Aspergillus section Flavi diversity and the role of A. novoparasiticus in aflatoxin contamination in the sugarcane production chain. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 293, 17-23.
- Costa J., Rodríguez R., Garcia-Cela E., Medina A., Magan N., Lima N., Battilani P. and Santos C. 2019. Overview of fungi and mycotoxin contamination in Capsicum pepper and in its derivatives. Toxins, 11, 27-32.
- Carbó A., Torres R., Teixidó N., Usall J., Magan N. and Medina A. 2018. Predicted ecological niches and environmental resilience of different formulations of the biocontrol yeast Candida sake CPA-1 using the Bioscreen C. BioControl, 63, 855-866.
- Carbó A., Torres R., Teixidó N., Usall J., Medina A. and Magan N. 2018. Impact of climate change environmental conditions on the resilience of different formulations of the biocontrol agent Candida sake CPA‐1 on grapes. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 67, 2-8.
- Garcia-Cela, E., Verheecke-Vaessen C., Magan N., Medina, A. 2018. The ``-omics’’ contributions to the understanding of mycotoxin production under diverse environmental conditions. Current Opinion in Food Science, 23, 97-104.
- Aldars-García L., Marín S., Sanchis V., Magan N., Medina A., 2018. Assessment of intraspecies variability in fungal growth initiation of Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 production under static and changing temperature levels using different initial conidial inoculum levels. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 272, 1-11
- Carbó A., Torres R., Teixidó N., Usall J., Magan N., Medina A. 2018. Predicted ecological niches and environmental resilience of different formulations of the biocontrol yeast Candida sake CPA-1 using the Bioscreen C. BioControl, 63 (6) 855–866
- Costa, J.; Rodríguez, R.; Garcia-Cela, E.; Medina, A.; Magan, N.; Lima, N.; Battilani, P.; Santos, C. 2019. Overview of Fungi and Mycotoxin Contamination in Capsicum Pepper and in Its Derivatives. Toxins , 11, 27
- Garcia-Cela E., Kiaitsi E., Sulyok M., Krska R., Medina A., Petit Damico I., Magan N. 2019. Influence of storage environment on maize grain: CO2 production, dry matter losses and aflatoxins contamination. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 36, 175-185
- Garcia-Cela, E., Kiaitsi, E., Sulyok, M., Medina, A., Magan, N. (2018). Fusarium graminearum in stored wheat: use of CO2 production to quantify dry matter losses and relate these to relative risks of Zearalenone contamination under different interacting environmental conditions. Toxins 2018, 10, 86; doi: 10.3390/toxins10020086
- Garcia-Cela E., Kiaitsi E., Medina A., Sulyok M., Krska R., Magan N., 2018. Interacting environmental stress factors affects targeted metabolomic profiles in stored natural wheat and that inoculated with F. graminearum. Toxins 2018, 10, 56-70; doi:10.3390/toxins10020056
- Gilbert, M.K, Medina, A., Mack, B.M., Lebar, M.D., Rodriguez, A., Bhatnagar, D., Magan, N., Obrian, G., Payne, G., 2017. Carbon dioxide mediates the response to temperature and water activity levels in Aspergillus flavus during infection of maize kernels. Toxins, 10, 1-5
- Iamanaka BT, de Souza Lopes A, Martins LM, Frisvad JC, Medina A, Magan N, Sartori D, Massi FP, Fungaro MHP, Taniwaki MH. 2019. Aspergillus section Flavi diversity and the role of A. novoparasiticus in aflatoxin contamination in the sugarcane production chain. Int J Food Microbiol 293:17–23
- Leslie, J.F.; Lattanzio, V.; Audenaert, K.; Battilani, P.; Cary, J.; Chulze, S.N.; De Saeger, S.; Gerardino, A.; Karlovsky, P.; Liao, Y.-C.; Maragos, C.M.; Meca, G.; Medina, A.; Moretti, A.; Munkvold, G.; Mulè, G.; Njobeh, P.; Pecorelli, I.; Perrone, G.; Pietri, A.; Palazzini, J.M.; Proctor, R.H.; Rahayu, E.S.; Ramírez, M.L.; Samson, R.; Stroka, J.; Sulyok, M.; Sumarah, M.; Waalwijk, C.; Zhang, Q.; Zhang, H.; Logrieco, A.F. 2018. MycoKey Round Table Discussions of Future Directions in Research on Chemical Detection Methods, Genetics and Biodiversity of Mycotoxins. Toxins, 10, 109
- Martin, S., Medina A., Magan, N., 2017. Impact of storage environment on respiration, dry matter losses and fumonisin B1 contamination of stored paddy and brown rice. World Mycotoxin Journal, 10, 319-326
- Martin, S., Medina A., Magan, N., 2017. Comparison of dry matter losses and aflatoxin B1 contamination of paddy and brown rice stored naturally or after inoculation with Aspergillus flavus at different environmental conditions. Journal of Stored Products Research, 73, 47-53
- Medina A., Gonzalez-Jartin J., Sainz M.J., 2017. Impact of global warming on mycotoxins. Current Opinion in Food Science, 18, 76-81
- Medina A., Mohale, S., Samsudin N.I.P., Rodriguez-Sixtos, A, Rodriguez, A., Magan, N., 2017. Biocontrol of mycotoxins: dynamics and mechanisms of action. Current Opinion in Food Science, 17, 41-48
- Medina, A., Akbar, A., Baazeem, A., Rodriguez, A., Magan, N., 2017. Climate change, food security and mycotoxins: Do we know enough? Fungal Biology Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbr.2017.04.002
- Medina, A., Gilbert, M.K, Mack, B.M., Obrian, G., Rodriguez, A., Bhatnagar, D., Payne, G., Magan, N., 2017. Interactions between water activity and temperature on the Aspergillus flavus transcriptome and aflatoxin B1 production. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 256, 36-44
- Polo L., Mañes-Lázaro R., Olmeda I., Erika Cruz L., Medina A., Ferrer S., Pardo I., 2017 Influence of freezing temperatures prior freeze-drying on the viability of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria isolated from wine. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 122, 1603-1614
- Samsudin, N.I.P., Rodriguez, A., Medina, A., Magan, N., 2017. Efficacy of fungal and bacterial antagonists for controlling growth, FUM1 gene expression and fumonisin B1 production by Fusarium verticillioides on maize cobs of different ripening stages. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 246, 72-79
- Verheecke-Vaessen C., Diez-Gutierrez L., Renaud L., Sumarah M., Medina A., Magan N.2019. Interacting climate change environmental factors effects on Fusarium langsethiae growth, expression of Tri genes and T-2/HT-2 mycotoxin production on oat-based media and in stored oats. Fungal Biology. In press
Supporting your business
The group has a flexible approach to meet the needs of its commercial clients and will develop research proposals in close consultation with industrial partners. We deliver confidential industrial research under contract. We also provide a range of opportunities to fund applied research projects through postgraduate studentships and act as consultants in applied mycology.
Professional development (CPD)
We offer an extensive range of professional development opportunities. We can provide training packages to meet your technical, managerial and business development needs. Our training is planned and delivered by our own subject specialists and supported by external specialists and experts where necessary.
Our students thrive on producing the highest quality research. Much of which takes place in collaboration with our extensive pool of industrial partners. Our excellent links facilitate our increasing demand for research students. Find out more about research opportunities in Environment and Agrifood.
We welcome speculative applications from students wishing to pursue their own research interest. If you would like to suggest a project of your own choosing please contact us so we can assign you a suitable supervisor.