Biography

My research is focused on the study of the fate of pesticides in the environment; their degradation and transport in soil and water. I also study bioactive natural compounds such as plant toxins and mycotoxins in food of plant origin. I work with LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS to develop analytical methods for pesticides and their metabolites in soil and water. I work with metabolomics in the Thermo Compound Discoverer software to detected new pesticide metabolites and discover the biologically relevant plant metabolites in plant and fungal samples or in fungal infected plants. 

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Abstract

In response to various stimuli, plants acquire resistance against pests and/or pathogens. Such acquired or induced resistance allows plants to rapidly adapt to their environment. Spraying the bark of mature Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees with the phytohormone methyl jasmonate (MeJA) enhances resistance to tree‐killing bark beetles and their associated phytopathogenic fungi. Analysis of spruce chemical defenses and beetle colonization success suggests that MeJA treatment both directly induces immune responses and primes inducible defenses for a faster and stronger response to subsequent beetle attack. We used metabolite and transcriptome profiling to explore the mechanisms underlying MeJA‐induced resistance in Norway spruce. We demonstrated that MeJA treatment caused substantial changes in the bark transcriptional response to a triggering stress (mechanical wounding). Profiling of mRNA expression showed a suite of spruce inducible defenses are primed following MeJA treatment. Although monoterpenes and diterpene resin acids increased more rapidly after wounding in MeJA‐treated than control bark, expression of their biosynthesis genes did not. We suggest that priming of inducible defenses is part of a complex mixture of defense responses that underpins the increased resistance against bark beetle colonization observed in Norway spruce. This study provides the most detailed insights yet into the mechanisms underlying induced resistance in a long‐lived gymnosperm.

Abstract

Cereal grain contaminated by Fusarium mycotoxins is undesirable in food and feed because of the harmful health effects of the mycotoxins in humans and animals. Reduction of mycotoxin content in grain by cleaning and size sorting has mainly been studied in wheat. We investigated whether the removal of small kernels by size sorting could be a method to reduce the content of mycotoxins in oat grain. Samples from 24 Norwegian mycotoxin-contaminated grain lots (14 from 2015 and 10 from 2018) were sorted by a laboratory sieve (sieve size 2.2 mm) into large and small kernel fractions and, in addition to unsorted grain samples, analyzed with LC-MS-MS for quantification of 10 mycotoxins. By removing the small kernel fraction (on average 15% and 21% of the weight of the samples from the two years, respectively), the mean concentrations of HT-2+T-2 toxins were reduced by 56% (from 745 to 328 µg/kg) in the 2015 samples and by 32% (from 178 to 121 µg/kg) in the 2018 samples. Deoxynivalenol (DON) was reduced by 24% (from 191 to 145 µg/kg) in the 2018 samples, and enniatin B (EnnB) by 44% (from 1059 to 594 µg/kg) in the 2015 samples. Despite low levels, our analyses showed a trend towards reduced content of DON, ADON, NIV, EnnA, EnnA1, EnnB1 and BEA after removing the small kernel fraction in samples from 2015. For several of the mycotoxins, the concentrations were considerably higher in the small kernel fraction compared to unsorted grain. Our results demonstrate that the level of mycotoxins in unprocessed oat grain can be reduced by removing small kernels. We assume that our study is the first report on the effect of size sorting on the content of enniatins (Enns), NIV and BEA in oat grains.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES • Gain a better understanding of the fate of pesticides in the environment by also screening and detecting their metabolites • Predict and detect pesticide metabolites in soils using high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) tools; Thermo Q Exactive orbitrap and Compound DiscovererTM software. HIGHLIGHTS • We present in silico metabolism simulation to predict fungicide metabolites in soil • We present a screening method for 800 pesticides and metabolites in soil and food, exemplified with soil samples from strawberry field degradation studies (including fluopyram, boscalid and pyraclostrobin and others) • We address the lack of molecular formulas for known metabolites in current databases as an obstacle in establishing HRAM screening methods

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Abstract

Field and laboratory studies show increased leaching of pesticides through macropores in frozen soil. Fast macropore flow has been shown to reduce the influence of pesticide properties on leaching, but data on these processes are scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of soil freezing and thawing on transport of pesticides with a range of soil sorption coefficients (Kf). To do this we conducted a soil column study to quantify the transport of bromide and five pesticides (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, clomazone, boscalid, propiconazole, and diflufenican). Intact topsoil and subsoil columns from two agricultural soils (silt and loam) in southeastern Norway were used in this experiment, and pesticides were applied to the soil surface in all columns. Half the columns were then frozen (−3°C), and the other half were left unfrozen (4°C). Columns were subjected to repeated irrigation events where 25 mm of rainwater was applied during 5 h at each event. Irrigations were followed by 14-d periods of freezing or refrigeration. Percolate was collected and analyzed for pesticides and bromide. Pesticide leaching was up to five orders of magnitude larger from frozen than unfrozen columns. Early breakthrough (<<1 pore volume) of high concentrations was observed for pesticides in frozen columns, indicating that leaching was dominated by preferential flow. The rank order in pesticide leaching observed in this study corresponded to the rank order of mean Kf values for the pesticides, and the results suggest that sorption plays a role in determining leaching losses even in frozen soil.

Abstract

Occasionally, high mycotoxin levels are observed in Norwegian oat grain lots. The development of moderate resistant oat cultivars is therefore highly valued in order to increase the share of high quality grain into the food and feed industry. The Norwegian SafeOats project (2016-2020) aims to develop resistance screening methods to facilitate the phase-out of Fusarium-susceptible oat germplasm. Furthermore, SafeOats will give new insight into the biology of F. langsethiae and HT2+T2 accumulation in oats. The relative ranking of oat varieties according to F. graminearum/DON versus F. langsethiae/HT2+T2 content has been explored in naturally infested as well as in inoculated field trials. Routine testing of the resistance to F. graminearum in oat cultivars and breeding lines has been conducted in Norway since 2007. We are currently working on ways to scale up the inoculum production and fine tune the methodology of F. langsethiae inoculation of field trials to be routinely applied in breeding programs. Through greenhouse studies, we have analysed the content of Fusarium DNA and mycotoxins in grains of selected oat varieties inoculated at different development stages. Furthermore, we are studying the transcriptome during F. langsethiae and F. graminearum infestation of oats. The project also focus on the occurrence of F. langsethiae in oat seeds and possible influence of the fungus on seedling development in a selection of oat varieties. On average, the fungus was observed on 5% of the kernels in 168 seed lots tested during 2016-2018. No indication of transmission of F. langsethiae from germinating seed to seedlings was found in a study with germination of naturally infected seeds. So far, the studies have shown that the ranking of oat varieties according to HT2+T2 content in non-inoculated field trials resembles the ranking observed in inoculated field trials. The ranking of oat varieties according to DON content is similar in non-inoculated and F. graminearum inoculated field trials. However, the ranking of oat varieties according to DON content does not resemble the ranking for HT2+T2. The results from SafeOats will benefit consumers nationally and internationally by providing tools to increase the share of high quality grain into the food and feed industry. The project is financed by The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products/Agricultural Agreement Research Fund/Research Council of Norway with support from the industry partners Graminor, Lantmännen, Felleskjøpet Agri, Felleskjøpet Rogaland & Agder, Fiskå Mølle Moss, Norgesmøllene, Strand Unikorn/Norgesfôr and Kimen Seed Laboratory.

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Abstract

Limited knowledge and experimental data exist on pesticide leaching through partially frozen soil. The objective of this study was to better understand the complex processes of freezing and thawing and the effects these processes have on water flow and pesticide transport through soil. To achieve this we conducted a soil column irrigation experiment to quantify the transport of a non-reactive tracer and the herbicide MCPA in partially frozen soil. In total 40 intact topsoil and subsoil columns from two agricultural fields with contrasting soil types (silt and loam) in South-East Norway were used in this experiment. MCPA and bromide were applied on top of all columns. Half the columns were then frozen at −3 °C while the other half of the columns were stored at +4 °C. Columns were then subjected to repeated irrigation events at a rate of 5 mm artificial rainwater for 5 h at each event. Each irrigation was followed by 14-day periods of freezing or refrigeration. Percolate was collected and analysed for MCPA and bromide. The results show that nearly 100% more MCPA leached from frozen than unfrozen topsoil columns of Hov silt and Kroer loam soils. Leaching patterns of bromide and MCPA were very similar in frozen columns with high concentrations and clear peaks early in the irrigation process, and with lower concentrations leaching at later stages. Hardly any MCPA leached from unfrozen topsoil columns (0.4–0.5% of applied amount) and concentrations were very low. Bromide showed a different flow pattern indicating a more uniform advective-dispersive transport process in the unfrozen columns with higher con- centrations leaching but without clear concentration peaks. This study documents that pesticides can be pre- ferentially transported through soil macropores at relatively high concentrations in partially frozen soil. These findings indicate, that monitoring programs should include sampling during snow melt or early spring in areas were soil frost is common as this period could imply exposure peaks in groundwater or surface water.

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Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is an important element for crop productivity and is widely applied in fertilizers. Most P fertilizers applied to land are sorbed onto soil particles, so research on improving plant uptake of less easily available P is important. In the current study, we investigated the responses in root morphology and root-exuded organic acids (OAs) to low available P (1 mM P) and sufficient P (50 mM P) in barley, canola and micropropagated seedlings of potato— three important food crops with divergent root traits, using a hydroponic plant growth system.We hypothesized that the dicots canola and tuber-producing potato and the monocot barley would respond differently under various P availabilities. WinRHIZO and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry results suggested that under low P availability, canola developed longer roots and exhibited the fastest root exudation rate for citric acid. Barley showed a reduction in root length and root surface area and an increase in root-exudedmalic acid under low-P conditions. Potato exuded relativelysmall amounts of OAs under low P, while therewas a marked increase in root tips. Based on the results, we conclude that different crops show divergent morphological and physiological responses to low P availability, having evolved specific traits of root morphology and root exudation that enhance their P-uptake capacity under low-P conditions. These results could underpin future efforts to improve P uptake of the three crops that are of importance for future sustainable crop production.

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Abstract

Organochlorine pollutants in the major fish species (pike Esox lucius, perch Perca fluviatilis, and roach Rutilus rutilus) of Lake Arungen, Norway, were investigated after an extensive removal of large pike in 2004. The organochlorine pollutants detected in fish liver samples in 2005 were dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and heptachlor epoxide (HCE). DDTs were the dominant among all analyzed OCs. Sigma PCB and HCB, detected in fish from two clearly distinct trophic levels (prey and predators), give an indication of biontagnification. All OC concentrations in female pike were significantly lower compared to males, which might be due to the removal of high concentrations of pollutants in roe during spawning. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Abstract

This is a final report for the project Norwegian Scenarios II, part two, that has been performed in collaboration between Bioforsk Plant Health and Plant Protection, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. The aim of the project was to establish Norwegian scenarios for the models PRZM and MACRO and to use them for approval of new pesticides.

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Abstract

Although the sulfonylurea herbicides have been used for many years worldwide, few field studies have been performed and little is known about the occurrence, fate and transport of sulfonylureas in the field. This report presents results from the first controlled field and laboratory-studies on the fate of sulfonylurea herbicides in Norway and a method for sample preparation and LC-MS/MS analysis of sulfonylurea herbicides in water samples is also presented.