How to stop fungi that infect, destroy crops? Target their ‘friends’

By itself, [the pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani] is responsible for the turfgrass disease called brown patch, sheath blight within rice, root rot in sugar beets, and a host of other diseases found in soybeans, potatoes, and cucumbers, just to name a few.

And how damaging these effects are vary depending on the disease, ranging from killing just 25% of an infected crop to a full-blown 100% crop die-off. Rice farmers especially abhor this fungus.

[S]cientists in Florida, while studying the effects of R. solani on a patch of turfgrass, also looked into the bacteria that appeared to be involved in the soil whenever the fungus began growing. What they found was that bacterial species … [was] living endosymbiotically within the hyphae of the fungi.

R. solani causes damping off, blight, and rot on common beans.

Some further experimentation whereby they eliminated the bacteria within a test subject fungi showed that, without its symbiotic bacteria, the fungi was not able to act at a 100% virulence level.

[A] possibility is to discover the specific genetics in how the bacteria is able to improve its symbiotic partner and potentially reverse this effect….

[Read the full study here]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Bacterial Symbiosis Discovery May Allow Dozens of Crop Disease Treatments

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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