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One of the most commonly found mycotoxins, aflatoxin, has been an emerging concern for the milk and dairy industry and a continued concern for the human food supply and cattle feed industry. There is a possibility of this carcinogenic mycotoxin being found in water and several studies have found them in water storage tanks, treated wastewater systems, and even in bottled water. With the potential presence in water, this study explores the possibility of aflatoxin in water troughs found on dairy farms which could be one of the exposures to cattle linked to causing aflatoxin in milk. Trough water samples were collected from two Southeast Texas dairies and tested using PCR and electrophoresis to determine if there was a presence of Aspergillus flavus DNA, which is one of the aflatoxin-producing species of mycotoxins. At this time, no aflatoxin was found in the trough water samples, but more research and possibly more forward and reverse primers are needed for Aspergillus flavus. Aflatoxin has many different forms and can be produced by several different species that are found in the Aspergillus sect. flavus. Further research is needed before concluding if aflatoxin could be found in water troughs.


Research Project Report (Non-Thesis track)

Submitted to the Department of Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Water Resources Science and Technology.