Category

Plant Health

After 100 years, plant pathologists revisit fire blight hypothesis

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

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.

Read More

Restoration of degraded grassland can benefit climate change mitigation and key ecosystem services

By | Climate change, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

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.

Read More

Wheat disease common to South America jumps to Africa

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Health, Plant Science, Policy

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.

Read More

When plants attack: parasitic plants use ethylene as a host invasion signal

By | JSPB, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

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

Read More

​​​​Short-term moisture removal can eliminate downy mildew of spinach

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

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.

Read More

Identified a new synthetic antimicrobial peptide aptamer targeting the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew

By | Agriculture, Blog, ECRi, Fruits and Vegetables, Plant Health

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.

Read More
microbiome representation

Microbiome-based technologies drive multibillion-dollar market

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Health

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.

Read More