Diseases that devastate African communities are the focus of a brand new short animated film launched by The CONNECTED Virus Network. The network’s focus is bringing together world-class researchers to find ways of tackling crop diseases, caused by plant viruses, which devastate food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Grown around the world, sweet potatoes are an important source of nutrition particularly in sub-Saharan African and Asian diets. Sweet potatoes are especially significant to sub-Saharan Africa as a source of Vitamin A, a nutrient commonly deficient in the region. While China currently produces the most sweet potatoes by country, sub-Saharan Africa has more land devoted to sweetpotatoes and continues to expand production. Farmers elsewhere are also increasingly growing sweetpotatoes.
New research finds that ash dieback is far less severe in the isolated conditions ash is often found in, such as forests with low ash density or in open canopies like hedges, suggesting the long term impact of the disease on Europe’s ash trees will be more limited than previously thought.
A research team has successfully quantified and visualised the impact of Hong Kong air pollution especially ozone pollutant on plants and the environment. Although the experiment took place in a rural area and in Spring, which would usually have a lower average ozone concentration, the pollutant level still reached high enough to do significant damage.
Staying on top of these collections is time-consuming during the best of times, and this task becomes even more complex in the age of social distancing. Yet thousands of scientists across the globe are doing just that, maintaining everything from crickets, to tissue cultures, mice, powdery mildews, nematodes, psyllids, zebrafish and even rust fungi.
Glyphosate is a widely used broad-spectrum herbicide that targets both broadleaf plants and grasses (dicots and monocots). This recent work aids our understanding of adaptive evolution in amaranth plants and has implications for optimizing pesticide use in the environment.
We are living through an explosion in the availability of microbiome data. In agricultural systems, the proliferation of research on plant and soil microbiomes has been coupled with excitement for the potential that microbiome data may have for the development of novel, sustainable, and effective crop management strategies. However, while this is an exciting development, as the collective body of microbiome data for diverse crops grows, the lack of consistency in recording data makes it harder for the data to be utilized across research projects.
A team of researchers has conducted an economic impact study for the olive industry in Europe’s three primary olive-producing countries in light of the arrival of Xylella fastidiosa, a deadly olive tree pathogen. In their paper the group describes their study of the losses the industry is facing if drastic measures are not taken.
A new computer application (app) could speed the search for genes that underpin important crop traits, like high yield, seed quality and resistance to pests, disease or adverse environmental conditions.