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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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BHATNAGAR, DEEPAK
Research Leader
Deepak.Bhatnagar@ars.usda.gov
(504) 286-4388
FOOD & FEED SAFETY RESEARCH
1100 ROBERT E. LEE BLVD
New Orleans LA 70124-4305

Mission:
The mission of the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit addresses priority areas of food safety, health and nutrition, and is directed towards (1) using a genomics approach to gain understanding of the genetic regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis; (2) characterization of compounds and genes governing production of the antifungal compounds for use in applications to control toxin-producing fungi or other fungi that reduce the quality and safety of food and feed; (3) elucidation, using genomic and proteomic tools, of the complex mechanisms governing expression of genes/enzymes which regulate aflatoxin synthesis during the plant-fungus interaction; and using this knowledge to enhance host-resistance against fungal invasion; (4) manipulation of agroecosystems involving complex interactions between the toxin-producing fungus, other endemic microflora and the crop plant (particularly as affected by climate change) to reduce levels of fungus and/or toxin in field environments; and (5) integration of research information into practical procedures for assuring a safe, domestic supply of food and feed; and enhancing global food security through sustainable agriculture.

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