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.
Researchers have developed an RNA-based spray to combat myrtle rust, an invasive fungal disease threatening native Australian plants. The treatment not only prevents infection but also cures already infected plants. This breakthrough offers hope for preserving vulnerable plant species.
Scientists have discovered a stealth molecular weapon that plants use to attack the cells of invading gray mold: plant RNA defense systems hidden in unassuming “bubbles”.
Plants often develop communities with microorganisms in their roots, which influences plant health and development. Although the recruitment of these microbes is dictated by several factors, it is unclear whether the genetic variation in the host plants plays a role. In a new study, researchers explored this question and their work can help improve agriculture productivity.
Lurking inside the crops of banana-producing-areas in east and central Africa is a disease called Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW)—and new modeling has shown that if left uncontrolled, this bacterial disease could cause a 55% reduction in banana production in newly affected regions within 10 years.
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.
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.
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.
A total of 57 institutions around the world share their expertise in a ground-breaking study which highlights the urgent need to protect the world’s forests from non-native pests amid climate change.