Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is a devastating disease that afflicts soybean crops, causing annual losses in U.S. soybean yields in excess of $274 million dollars. New research shows that the trick to surviving the disease might be a matter of timing when to mount a defense response.
Historically credited as being the first bacterium ever characterized as a plant pathogen, fire blight is a bacterial disease that leads to significant losses of pear and apple. The role of insects in the spread of this disease has been long studied. In a new study, plant pathologists take a hypothesis that has been more or less ignored for 100 years and provided support for its validity.
New research has demonstrated how, in contrast to encroachment by the invasive alien tree species Prosopis julifora (known as `Mathenge` in Kenya or `Promi` in Baringo), the restoration of grasslands in tropical semi-arid regions can both mitigate the impacts of climate change and restore key benefits usually provided by healthy grasslands for pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities.
A deadly wheat disease common to Asia and South America has been identified in Africa for the first time, raising fears of potential spread to wheat crops across the continent. Researchers say that the fast-acting and devastating fungal disease known as wheat blast was first spotted in Africa in the Zambian rainfed wheat production system in the 2017-2018 crop cycle.
To develop a successful parasitic relationship, parasitic plants form a specialized structure, the haustorium which attaches to and invades the host plant. The formation of haustoria is regulated by signal molecules derived from the host plant and allows the parasitic plant to absorb water, nutrients, and small materials from the host plant. Now, researchers find that the plant hormone ethylene mediates the invasion of hosts by parasitic plants
Downy mildew is the biggest threat to spinach production around the world. While the pathogen has a short life cycle (approximately a week), it can produce millions of spores during the spinach growing season. Overhead sprinkler irrigation systems and dew formation on cool nights leads to more moisture, which enables these spores to infect the spinach.
The cultivation of vanilla in Madagascar provides a good income for small-holder farmers, but without trees and bushes the plantations can lack biodiversity. Agricultural ecologists have investigated the interaction between prey and their predators in these cultivated areas.
Recently discovered interactions between plant and viral proteins open up new avenues for making plants resistant to viruses, thus safeguarding crop yields in changing climate conditions.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is a crop of great economic and agricultural value throughout the world. In 2019, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) reported that over 7 million hectares are dedicated to the cultivation of this crop, resulting in the global production of about 78 million tonnes of grape and 292 million of hectolitres of wine. However, a production of this magnitude is possible thanks to the massive use of pesticides to counteract various diseases that can affect grape yield. Indeed, pesticide applications are at the basis of intensive agriculture, as they guarantee protection from pathogens, pests and weeds. In absence of pesticide applications, farmers could experience up to 40% of production losses in a single year.
A new field of research in microbiology is transforming the way scientists see fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. Microbiome research is so promising that it has drawn attention from funders and industry as well as scientists. In the United States alone, the market for microbiome-based agricultural products is expected to be worth more than $10 billion by 2025. Research on the human microbiome has surpassed $1.7 billion in the past decade.