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Natural seed treatment could drastically cut pesticide use
Date:6/8/2009

own at a later stage.

'We think treating seeds with jasmonic acid acts rather like immunisation, protecting plants for an extended period after treatment,' says Dr Jason Moore, a member of the Lancaster team.

Until now, genetic modification (GM) technology has been touted as the best hope for increasing crop yields without using excessive pesticides. But GM has long been unpopular in many countries. What makes jasmonic acid so exciting is that it is a more natural way to protect plants.

In addition to cutting pesticide use, the new technology could be a financially beneficial alternative for farmers and growers using pesticides, because seeds are cheaper to treat than whole crops.

The original research showing the effect of jasmonic acid on seeds was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. But it was further work funded by a Nerc scheme to investigate developing research outcomes into commercially-viable products that proved the commercial potential of treating seeds with jasmonic acid.

'The seed treatment started out as pure ecology, but with the support of our funders and now PBL and Becker Underwood, it's developed into a new technology that could really help improve food production around the world,' adds Paul.

The Lancaster team now want to take their research further. They are investigating its value in disease control and further funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council will allow the researchers to explore exactly how jasmonic acid works its magic on plant seeds.


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Contact: Tamera Jones
tane@nerc.ac.uk
44-079-175-57215
Natural Environment Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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