The Mars GFSC Presents Groundbreaking Research At London Calling 2020 Virtual Event

06/19/2020

Cutting-edge research from the Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC) Microbial Risk Program was presented at London Calling 2020, an online conference dedicated to scientific research using Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) DNA and RNA sequencing. Although the ONT technology is known in the life since research areas, it is the first time it has been researched in a food science context.

Dr Chongtao Ge, Senior Research Manager at the Mars GFSC, presented the research at the Microbiology and Metagenomics session on 19th June, outlining the important work Mars is doing with global partners to test innovative technologies, such as whole genome sequencing (WGS), to more effectively identify foodborne pathogens that make food unsafe.

WGS has been shown to provide reliable results for Salmonella serotype prediction. The conventional scientific process for identifying bacteria’s family – known as serotyping – can be time consuming. For Salmonella, it used to take three days, and in some cases more than 12 days to assign a final classification for complex serovars.

In this study, researchers at the Mars GFSC, the University of Georgia and Cornell University evaluated Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) long-read sequencing platform and developed a method for completing WGS to determine Salmonella serotypes in just two hours and the whole identification process within eight hours.

Dr. Chongtao Ge, says: “It was a great honor to speak at London Calling 2020 and highlight the work Mars is doing with global partners to evaluate Oxford Nanopore Technologies long-read sequencing platform for Salmonella serotype prediction for the first time in the arena of food safety.

“As the food supply chain becomes ever more global and interconnected, the opportunity for food to become contaminated with Salmonella increases. In the fast-moving world of food manufacturing, where rapid identification and response to Salmonella contamination incidents is critical, developing a more efficient pathogen identification method is essential.

“The Mars GFSC is committed to sharing knowledge to overcome present and future microbial risk challenges. We will continue to collaborate, share new insights and discoveries as part of our pledge to ensure safe food for all.”

London’s Calling is a virtual 2-day event, hosted by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. This year’s event included international speakers across three main tracks: Human and clinical research, microbiology, and plant genomics.

Please click to listen to Dr Chongtao Ge share the research.

CLICK HERE to read the full study: Evaluation of Real-Time Nanopore Sequencing for Salmonella Serotype Prediction.