Plant Health

Image: Late blight lesion on a potato leaf. Credit: Jean Ristaino, NC State University

Using Written Records – and Tweets – as a Roadmap for Plant Disease Spread

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Researchers used text analytics on historical and contemporary writings, including tweets, to trace the spread of Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen behind the 1840s Irish potato famine and ongoing potato and tomato issues. By analyzing keywords and social media, they shed light on past outbreaks and modern disease trends, showcasing the potential of textual analysis in disease tracking.

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Image: Caterpillar on an Arabidopsis plant. Credit: Kurt Stepnitz, 2006 University Relations - Michigan State University

How plants respond to environmental threats with proper defense

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

In plants, the jasmonate (JA) signaling pathway helps plants control their defense responses to environmental stresses. Like the human body, plants respond differently to individual threats. Just as people wouldn’t get a fever due to a sprained ankle, plants deal with harmful elements in particular ways. A study looks at how plants respond to environmental threats in the correct way.

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Image:  Cabbage white caterpillar eating an oilseed rape plant. Credit: Benjamin Fuchs/University of Turku

Fungal–plant symbiosis offers a promising tool to boost crop resilience

By | Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, News, Plant Health

Researchers inoculated oilseed rape plants with a species of fungus that is known for its ability to combat pest insects. Utilising the relationship between beneficial fungi and crop plants may introduce a new era of agriculture where the plant resilience is improved and the ecological footprint of traditional/chemical pesticides is minimised.

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Chemicals from maize roots influence wheat yield

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Maize roots secrete certain chemicals that affect the quality of soil. In some fields, this effect increases yields of wheat planted subsequent to maize in the same soil by more than 4%. While the findings from several field experiments show that these effects are highly variable, in the long term they may yet help to make the cultivation of grains more sustainable, without the need for additional fertilizers or pesticides.

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