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:4/18/2017)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a ... prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the ... face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased ... and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a ... authentication solutions, today announced that it has been ... Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation ... "Innovation has been a driving force ... program will allow us to innovate and develop ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... SC (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... mind, has teamed up with NASA to showcase the future of deep space ... Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft and includes a guest appearance by ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... headlines and drive high-level conversations among healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding the ... – taking place May 15-18, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , April 25, 2017 ... has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to an undisclosed ... and allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, are ... immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot ... intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... April 24, 2017  Dante Labs announced today the offer ... 850 (ca. $900). While American individuals have been able to ... Europeans can access WGS below EUR 1,000. The ... leveraging genetic information to make informed decisions about disease monitoring, ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: