Developing methodologies to determine the fate of antibiotics and their metabolites in food crops in order to inform risk assessment for human health.

Project: Other projectOther internal award

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The reuse of wastewater to meet irrigation demands represents a significant pathway for pharmaceutical contaminants, including antibiotics, to enter agricultural fields where they are taken up by crops. However, there is very little information on what happens to pharmaceuticals once inside the plant. Using the newly-developed technique of single-cell mass spectrometry (SCMS), we will suck the contents from inside plant cells, identify the pharmaceuticals, and determine what chemicals the plant has converted them into. We will use transcriptomics to find out which plant genes are involved in the uptake and subsequent transformation of these pharmaceuticals. This information will 1) enable scientists to work out exposure levels to humans ingesting these plant crops. 2) allow the detoxification routes for pharmaceuticals in plants to be understood so that wastewater can be safely reused as part of the future resiliency of the food supply necessary to feed a growing global population.
Effective start/end date19/12/1930/11/20

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