Scientists recruit wheat microbes to halt devastating plant fungal disease

White spikelets FHB
Image Credit: Kansas Wheat Alliance

Fusarium head blight is a devastating fungal disease affecting wheat and barley crops worldwide. According to the American Phytopathological Society, this disease has cost U.S. wheat and barley farmers more than $3 billion since 1990 …. Recently, many scientists have …. become interested in the idea of employing microbial species that already live on and inside crop plants to do the dirty work of controlling disease epidemics.

These microbes, known collectively as the “plant microbiome,” have a lot of natural impact on the plant host. Some microbial species are beneficial, helping the plant’s immune system to fight off enemies ….

As part of a National Science Foundation-supported internship program, I have an opportunity …. to identify beneficial bacteria from the wheat microbiome. I am pitting beneficial bacteria from wheat plants grown in Illinois against the Fusarium head blight fungus. We are comparing how the interactions of these two microbial adversaries differ ….

Related article:  How plant breeders produce new crops to stay ahead of climate change, disease

[W]e’ve already identified several potentially beneficial bacteria species. In future research, we hope to explore whether applying these bacteria to wheat seeds could help mature wheat plants resist Fusarium head blight.

Read full, original article: Employing Wheat’s Bacterial Partners to Fight a Pathogen

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend