Navigation Links
Potato blight plight looks promising for food security
Date:8/10/2009

Over 160 years since potato blight wreaked havoc in Ireland and other northern European countries, scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) finally have the blight-causing pathogen in their sights and are working to accelerate breeding of more durable, disease resistant potato varieties.

Using pathogen genomics, Professor Paul Birch from the Division of Plant Sciences, University of Dundee (at Scottish Crop Research Institute - SCRI), alongside researchers from Warwick HRI and the University of Aberdeen, is looking at how the most significant potato pathogen, Phytopthora infestans causes disease and identifying essential pathogen virulence genes that may be durable targets for host resistance proteins.

Costs associated with crop losses and chemical control of blight exceed 3billion globally each year. Professor Birch, explained: "What we have seen is an evolutionary arms race between a pathogen and its host and, so far, the pathogen has been winning."

However, this looks set to change as a result of greater understanding of the role of so-called effector proteins, which are secreted by the pathogen and go onto manipulate the plant cell structure, defences and metabolism to establish disease.

The discovery of more than 500 genes encoding these effectors, along with recent advances in technology to study protein-protein interactions provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate how plant defences are suppressed by invading microbes.

Within these effector proteins, Professor Birch and his colleagues have discovered a genetic motif - RXLR, which is necessary for the P. infestans pathogen proteins to enter the potato cells.

"We are really excited by the discovery of RXLR. This has provided a signature to search for proteins that are delivered inside host cells, where they may be exposed to plant defence surveillance systems," said Professor Birch.

The scientists hope that their understanding of how effectors interact with their targets in the host will lead to novel strategies to control or prevent crop losses and environmental damage for a wide variety of plant diseases, not just potato blight.

Commenting on the research, BBSRC Chief Executive Professor Doug Kell, said: "Potatoes are the third most important food crop in the world, but blight continues to devastate crops worldwide, having huge economic and dietary ramifications. This exciting research highlights the invaluable role that genomics has to play in preventing crop losses in potatoes and other crops and helping to address the urgent issue of global food security."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey Jewitt
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-414-694
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Purple sweet potato means increased amount of anti-cancer components
2. Plants are political hot potatoes
3. Low level herbicide use can damage potato reproduction
4. Potatoes may hold key to Alzheimers treatment
5. Green potato health risk can be eliminated by cutting away affected area
6. Can you be born a couch potato?
7. Drought tolerance in potatoes
8. Using DNA, scientists hunt for the roots of the modern potato
9. New research to decode the genetic secrets of prolific potato pest
10. New research to help fight widespread potato disease
11. Sweet potato shines as new promise for small enterprise and hunger relief in developing countries
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/3/2017)... VEGAS , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, ... the introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven ... men, showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics ... In the U.S., the World Health ... more than two-thirds of adults who are overweight or ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016   Valencell , the leading ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader ... announced today the launch of a new, highly ... that includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey ... biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... The global wearable medical device market, in terms of ... USD 5.31 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.0% during ... ... in medical devices, launch of a growing number of smartphone-based healthcare ... healthcare providers, and increasing focus on physical fitness. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 ... is one of leading causes of death worldwide. There ... the number of cancer related deaths increased gradually over ... in incidence rate of various cancers continues to drive ... research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research Future has a half cooked research report on Global Liquid ... and expected to reach USD 450 Million by the end of ... ... assessed as a swiftly growing market and expected that the market ... There has been a tremendous growth in the prevalence of cancer ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and Markets ... addition of the "Implantable Biomaterials Market Analysis & ... to their offering. Report Highlights: ... current and future market trends to identify the investment opportunities ... numbers Key market trends across the business segments, Regions ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious diseases, announced ... the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune in an ... Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont Capital. The ... immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage and one ...
Breaking Biology Technology: