*Seminar Series: SCMB Chemistry Seminar
*Location: AIBN Seminar Room
*Date: 15/05/2017
*Time: 13:00

Speaker #1 details
*Title of talk: Plant toxins and their transfer into non-plant based foods
*Speaker's name: A/Prof. Mary Fletcher
*Speaker's organisation: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI
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Website: https://qaafi.uq.edu.au/profile/306/mary-fletcher
Talk Abstract: Plant toxins are toxic secondary plant metabolites which naturally occur in food, feed, weeds and ornamental plants. The chemical diversity of these toxins in Australian pasture plants is wide ranging from simple amino acids to alkaloids and complex orthoesters. These toxins play a role in protecting plants against insect and mammalian predators, and have caused both animal and human toxicity through inadvertent intake. These toxins also have the potential to transfer into non-plant based foods, when consumed by livestock or transferred by bees in pollen and nectar. Research in my group has examined toxins that accumulate in livestock tissues (such as the amino acid indospicine) and can be problematic for the secondary consumer, with canine deaths resulting from indospicine-contaminated camel meat. Our natural toxin research interests also encompass pyrrolizidine alkaloids, carcinogenic esters of 1,2-unsaturated pyrrolizidine bases which occur in more than 3% of all flowering plants, particularly Heliotropium, Crotalaria, Echium and Senecio species. The prolonged intake of these alkaloids in food or feed causes chronic liver toxicity in both livestock and human populations, but the free alkaloids fortunately do not accumulate in animal tissues. Bees are however known to transfer these alkaloids from flowers to honey, and concern has been raised as to the extent of this contamination in Australian honeys. Our recent studies have examined the presence of such alkaloids in honey samples from Queensland supermarkets and regional markets.
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Speaker #2 details
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Other Details: Anybody wishing to meet with the speaker may contact Elizabeth Krenske
*Host name: Elizabeth Krenske
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*Host email: e.krenske@uq.edu.au