Navigation Links
Combating plant diseases is key for sustainable crops
Date:4/11/2011

Climate change is likely to make plants more vulnerable to infectious disease, which will threaten crop yield and impact on the price and availability of food. Dr Adrian Newton, presenting his work at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate, explains how exploiting diversity in crops is the best option to improve food security in a changing climate.

Pest and disease management has helped double food production in the last 40 years, but 10-16% of the global harvest is still lost to plant diseases each year costing an estimated US$220 billion. Climate change is impacting on the micro-organisms that cause these diseases.

Fusarium head blight (FHB) a fungal disease that affects both the quality and safety of wheat - has re-emerged over the last few decades as a disease of global significance. Changes in levels of rainfall, humidity and temperature all influence the predominant strain of FHB, in addition to the quantity of the harmful mycotoxin produced by the fungus. These changes are likely to affect wheat production, processing and marketing. Mathematical models have shown that the risk of FHB epidemics and the number of crops containing potentially dangerous levels of mycotoxin will increase across the whole of the UK over the next few decades.

Dr Newton from the James Hutton Institute, Dundee (formerly the Scottish Crop Research Institute) explains the difficulties in predicting the likelihood of disease. "The communities of microbes on plants are complex and include harmless and beneficial organisms as well as those that cause disease on plants and humans. We need to understand the dynamics of complex microbial communities and their interactions to be able to predict the likelihood of disease."

Understanding these relationships is key to improving our crop production and protection in the face of climate change. "Climate change adds an extra layer of complexity to an already complex agro-ecological system. Higher temperatures, increasing levels of carbon dioxide, water limitation and quality may all affect existing plant microbes as well as favouring the appearance of new microbes. This may increase the incidence of some diseases and reduce the incidence of others," said Dr Newton.

Less reliance on pesticides is essential to ensure sustainable crops, according to Dr Newton. "Plant pathogens are becoming increasingly resistant to pesticides a problem that is likely to be made worse as their availability becomes reduced by legislation," he said. "One way to protect crops is to exploit their diversity. This increases resilience to pathogens and other stresses attributable to climate change. This means less pesticide use, reliable crop production and sustainable food production system."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Udakis
l.udakis@sgm.ac.uk
44-118-988-1843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Magnetic nanoparticles show promise for combating human cancer
2. Microorganism may provide key to combating giant salvinia throughout Louisiana
3. Satellite data instrumental in combating desertification
4. Time to tap climate change-combating potential of the worlds ecosystems
5. Time to tap climate-change-combating potential of the worlds ecosystems
6. Demonstration Features Commercial Technology for Combating Terrorism
7. Demonstration Features Commercial Technology for Combating Terrorism
8. Combating Terrorism with Commercial Technology: 2009 Force Protection Equipment Demonstration
9. Shootingstars provide clues to likely response of plants to global warming
10. Periodontal stem cell transplantation shows promise
11. New genetic study helps to solve Darwins mystery about the ancient evolution of flowering plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Combating plant diseases is key for sustainable crops
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a new ... Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, ... IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 ... (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Stratevi, a boutique firm that partners with healthcare ... has opened an office in downtown Boston at 745 Atlantic Ave. , “We ... to generate evidence on the value they provide, not just to patients, but also ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility scientists’ work is ... of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) today and Saturday ... to excellence in clinical laboratory services and regulations. , “We are pleased ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University City ... with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner ... submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II ... grow. CSM has doubled in size over the past six months with the ... , Roger Gasper joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: