Navigation Links
Plant protection research targets cacao in developing countries
Date:5/17/2010

A research collaboration lead by a professor from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech will work to develop methods to protect agriculturally important crops in developing countries from devastating attacks from plant pathogens with the support of a $1.45 million award from the BREAD (Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

VBI and Virginia Tech Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science Professor Brett Tyler (https://www.vbi.vt.edu/faculty/personal_pages/brett_tyler), along with Mark Guiltinan (http://guiltinanlab.cas.psu.edu/), Penn State professor of Horticulture, and Shunyuan Xiao (http://carb.umbi.umd.edu/xiaogroup/), associate professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, will develop new approaches for crop protection against a broad range of diseases caused by fungal and fungal-like pathogens. The team's research will target cacao, an economically and ecologically important crop for a number of developing countries, in collaboration with cacao expert Brian Bailey from the U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md.

According to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), approximately three million tons of cocoa, which is the primary ingredient in chocolate made from cacao seeds, is produced globally each year. Africa produces 70 percent of the world's cocoa and it serves as a major export commodity for many other countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Costa Rica, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In addition to being an important economic crop for these areas, it also provides many ecological benefits such as rain forest preservation. Plant disease caused by fungal and water mold (oomycete) pathogens place critical limitations on cacao production worldwide. While significant advances have been made in research involving disease resistance for staple food crops such as rice, wheat, and corn, more work is needed involving other crops to help provide food and income options for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Cocoa is predominantly a smallholder crop, with more than 90 percent of the world's production originating from small farms.

The project (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0965353) targets two mechanisms that appear to be crucial for the way these pathogens attack plants. One approach will explore the usefulness of an anti-microbial protein to target and impair infection within the feeding parts (haustoria) of the pathogen. A second approach involves blocking the entry of virulence proteins that pathogens secrete into host cells to bring about disease. The most promising strategies will be transferred to cacao and evaluated for their ability to protect against disease.

"To help ensure smallholder communities in developing countries are provided with the kinds of nutrition and income options needed for a healthy life, it is critical that crop improvement strategies be applied to many different kinds of crops," Tyler explains. "One of the strengths of this project is that the tested approaches will potentially be applicable to a wide variety of crop species and diseases that are important to the developing world."


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Bland
subland@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-7912
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Emergence of fungal plant diseases linked to ecological speciation
2. Transplanted adult stem cells provide lasting help to injured hearts
3. Linnaeus 2.0: First E-publication of new plant species
4. Health benefits of wheat can be improved by plant breeding
5. DNA barcoding exposes fake ferns in international plant trade
6. Mays Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features plant gene expression methods, Xenopus imaging
7. CO2 effects on plants increases global warming
8. Lung cancer risk particularly high for heart and liver transplant recipients
9. Study gives green light to plants role in global warming
10. Study gives green light to plants’ role in global warming
11. 20 years of PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter ... (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was ... (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 ... 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, ... microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another ... year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware ... . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together ... built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report ... detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted ... change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: