Navigation Links
New research to help fight widespread potato disease
Date:11/7/2007

Scientists have made a key discovery into the genetics of the bacteria that causes blackleg, an economically damaging disease of potatoes, that could lead to new ways to fight the disease. The researchers at the University of Cambridge, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), found that if a particular gene is inactivated in the bacterium Erwinia carotovora, its ability to damage the plant and cause disease is severely impeded. The research was recently published in the Journal of Bacteriology.

Erwinia carotovora can cause disease in a wide range of plants, including carrots, tomatoes and onions, but is best known in temperate regions for causing blackleg and soft rot in potatoes. Its success partly lies in its ability to produce enzymes which break down its hosts cell walls. The degraded cell walls provide nutrients to the bacterium, and so aid its survival and growth.

The Cambridge researchers discovered that if they inactivated a gene called relA, which helps the bacteria recognise when nutrients are running low, then the bacterias ability to export enzymes to break down the plants cell walls is also abolished.

Research leader Dr Martin Welch explains: Blackleg is a significant economic problem, substantially reducing crop yields.

We have shown that the production of cell wall degrading enzymes is genetically linked to not only signalling abilities but also to the bacteriums nutritional status. This has important implications for researchers looking for new ways to control the disease. By improving our understanding of how Erwinia carotovora rots the plant, we can reveal additional, possibly novel targets for the eventual development of anti-rot agents. We have also opened up the potential to develop pesticides.

Dr Mike Storey, R&D Director of the British Potato Council, commented in response to the research findings: "Blackleg is one of the key diseases across all sectors of the British potato industry. The findings from the University of Cambridge are important as they could offer novel solutions, both to help store potatoes and to control the disease.

Soft rots in particular are a concern for many crops going in store this season because of the warm and wet growing conditions. We rely on careful storage management as most varieties of potato have no inbuilt resistance to soft rot and there are no available pesticides."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Goode
press.office@bbsrc.ac
44-017-934-13299
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
4. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
5. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
6. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
7. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Paris Police ... video security solution to ensure the safety of people and ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international technology ... services, announced today that its video security solution will be ... back up public safety across the country. The system roll-out ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , ... Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
Breaking Biology Technology: