Wheat, in its own right, is one of the most important foods in the world. It is a staple food for more than 2.5 billion people, it provides 20% of the protein consumed worldwide and, according to the FAO, supplies more calories than any other grain. Its long-term productivity, however, is threatened by rising temperatures, among other factors. Stress from heat, an increasing trend due to climate change, affects its performance, a fact that needs urgent solutions bearing in mind that, according to some estimates, the world’s population will reach 9 billion by the year 2050.
Citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing of HLB), transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, is currently the biggest threat to the citrus industry and is threat to many parts of the world. In Florida alone, citrus greening disease has accounted for losses of several billions of U.S. dollars. Despite HLB’s widespread prevalence, factors influencing the epidemic are poorly understood because most research has been conducted after the pathogen has been introduced.
Amongst the world’s most challenging problems is the need to feed an ever-growing global population sustainably. Securing the food supply is of paramount importance, and more attention must be given to the threat from fungal pathogens competing with us for our own crops.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain. This conclusion, however, is based on a paradigm that can be questioned according to a new article.
A team of scientists has developed a way to potentially thwart the spread of a disease-causing bacterium that harms more than 100 plant species worldwide, an advance that could save the nursery industry billions a year.
Some plants, like soybean, are known to possess an innate defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them. However, exactly how these plants recognize signals from insects has been unknown until now. Scientists uncover how oral secretions of the cotton leaf worm trigger defense responses in a plant.
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable.
Intercropping, or the simultaneous cultivation of multiple crops on a single plot of land, can significantly increase the yield, not only of low input agriculture, but also of intensive agriculture, and reduce the use of fertilisers.
A new study is calling for governments to reallocate subsidies to encourage the use of lower risk control options – such as biopesticides – in the fight against the devastating maize pest fall armyworm (FAW).
Over 80% of the world’s flowering plants must reproduce in order to produce new flowers, according to the U.S. Forest Service. This process involves the transfer of pollen between plants by wind, water or insects called pollinators — including bumblebees. In a new study, researchers discovered a spiny pollen that has evolved to attach to traveling bumblebees.