Food Toxicity Detection Using C. elegans

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
W81XWH-10-C-0213
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
O2-1099
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
OSD09-H24
Solicitation Number:
2009.3
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, -
Hubzone Owned:
Y
Minority Owned:
Y
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
022552900
Principal Investigator:
Kathie Berghorn
Staff Scientist
(607) 272-0002
kberghorn@agavebio.com
Business Contact:
Noe Salazar
President
(512) 656-6200
nsalazar@agavebio.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
Current toxicity testing of foodstuffs involves mass spectrometry analysis which requires a>24 h turnaround time in deployed military operations. This length of time is dangerous for personnel. Rapid identification of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) in food using a sensor that is biologically-based and easy to use eliminates that danger and would provide exactly what is needed for toxicity evaluation of food. In this Phase II, Agave BioSystems proposes to develop a rapid and accurate biosensor prototype using mutant C. elegans to evaluate toxicity in food. This biosensor will use the nematode C. elegans as the model system and measure Green fluorescent protein (GFP) that has been linked to inducible promoters of genes responsive to specific stressors. Extended shelf life will be possible because the dauer stage within the lifecycle of C. elegans leaves the worm in stasis for extended periods of time until growth is resumed with improved conditions. By measuring the GFP response in a mixed population of mutant C. elegans, the outcome should be an accurate and sensitive assessment of chemical toxicity in food.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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