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 minimization 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 6-8 PhD students at any one time.
Dr Carol Verheeck: Research Fellow in Applied Mycology.
Dr Esther Garcia Cela: Research Fellow in Applied Mycology.
Dr Elsa Kiaitsi: Research Fellow in Applied Mycology.
- 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
- Interreg North-West Europe: Real-time “interactive storage” quality control in fresh agro products (QCAP) (2017-2020)
- Innovate UK-SENAI (Brazil)- Insect based Protein in collaboration with Entocycle Ltd. (2016-2018)
- H2020: Safe Food and Feed through an Integrated ToolBox for Mycotoxin Management (Mytoolbox) (2016-2020)
- Innovate UK: Non-invasive photonic sensors for detection of latent fungal infections and internal rot or disorders in fruit (2014-2017)
- Innovate UK funded project: Decision support systems for minimising mould spoilage and mycotoxins in stored cereals (2015-2018)
- 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).
- 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).
- Al-Saad LA, Al-Badran AI, Al-Jumayli SA, Magan N, Rodríguez A (2016) Impact of bacterial biocontrol agents on aflatoxin biosynthetic genes, aflD and aflR expression, and phenotypic aflatoxin B1 production by Aspergillus flavus under different environmental and nutritional regimes. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 217: 123-129
- Caceresa, I., El Khoury, R., Medina, Á., Lippi, Y., Naylies, C., Atoui, A., El Khoury, A., Oswald, I.P., Bailly, J.-D., Puel, O. 2016. Deciphering the anti-aflatoxinogenic properties of eugenol using a large-scale qPCR approach. Toxins, 8, 123; doi:10.3390/toxins8050123
- 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., 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
- Medina, A., Akbar, A., Baazeem, A., Rodriguez, A., Magan, N., 2017. Climate change, food security and mycotoxins: Do we know enough? Fungal Biology Reviews
- 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.
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.