Scientists have discovered that soil microbes can make plants more resistant to an aggressive disease – opening new possibilities for sustainable food production.
Bacterial wilt disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum infects several plants including tomatoes and potatoes. It causes huge economic losses around the world especially in China, Indonesia and Africa.
Researchers from the University of York working with colleagues from China and the Netherlands, investigated the effect of the soil microbiome on the plant-pathogen interaction. Infections are often ‘patchy’ in the field not affecting the whole crop and the cause for this is unknown.
Dr Ville Friman from the Department of Biology said: “Even though we have discovered that the pathogen is present everywhere in tomato fields, it is not capable of infecting all the plants. We wanted to understand if this spatial variation could be explained by differences in soil bacterial communities.”
To study the effect of soil microbiome for disease development, the scientists used a newly developed experimental system that allowed repeated sampling of individual plants in a non-destructive manner. This allowed scientists to go back in time and compare healthy and diseased plant microbiomes long before visible disease symptoms.
The sampling method allowed them to compare the micro-organisms that were present in the soils of those plants that remained healthy or became infected. Their analysis showed that the microbiomes of surviving plants were associated with certain rare taxa and pathogen-suppressing Pseudomonas and Bacillus bacteria.
Dr Friman added: “We found that improved disease resistance could be transferred to the next plant generation along with the soil transplants analogous to faecal transplants used in medicine.
“Our results show that it is important to focus not only the pathogen but also the naturally-occurring beneficial micro-organisms present in the rhizosphere. While the beneficial role of microbes for humans and plants have been acknowledged for a long time, it has been difficult to disentangle the cause and effect and important bacterial taxa based on comparative data.”
The team are currently developing and testing different microbial inoculants for crop production. The research has opened up the possibility in the future that bacteria could be used as ‘soil probiotics’ to protect plants from pathogens.
The Latest on: Sustainable food production
via Google News
The Latest on: Sustainable food production
- Cargill's Diamond V expands production footprint to better serve growing customer demand for natural animal health productson January 24, 2020 at 2:15 pm
Food customers and consumers are increasingly interested in understanding how animals are being raised, and demand is rising for animal protein that has been produced in natural* and sustainable ways.
- Growing own food in a sustainable wayon January 24, 2020 at 11:14 am
Some of the practices under sustainable agriculture include vertical farming ... "In this controlled environment agriculture, we use a technology-based approach towards food production within an ...
- Tyson Foods Starts Coalition for Sustainable Proteinon January 24, 2020 at 6:27 am
“We’re introducing this Coalition because we know that we cannot achieve this alone. Collective commitment and immediate action are needed to deliver the greatest impact on the future of sustainable ...
- DS Smith Opens Industry-Leading Box Manufacturing Plant to Fulfill Consumer Demand for More Sustainable Boxeson January 24, 2020 at 3:31 am
DS Smith, a global industry leader in embracing sustainable strategies ... machinery, production, sales and management positions. The facility continues the DS Smith heritage of commitment to quality ...
- Food and beverage companies that can overcome these challenges will be poised to prosperon January 23, 2020 at 9:03 pm
Several factors are combining today to offer unique challenges and opportunities in the food and beverage sector. Migration, globalism and environmental issues are macro challenges for governments and ...
- The Future of Sustainable Materials: Milkweed Flosson January 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm
In our series “The Future of Sustainable Materials,” we explore ... like monarch butterflies — play a crucial role in food production, with "one third of all agricultural output" depending ...
- Yara and IBM launch an open collaboration for farm and field data to advance sustainable food productionon January 23, 2020 at 10:14 am
Yara International (OSE: YAR), a global leader in crop nutrition and digital farming solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM), invite farmer associations, industry players, academia and NGOs from the food and a ...
- Report reveals motivations behind food and beverage sustainability trendson January 23, 2020 at 5:57 am
The latest report, Food and Beverage Sustainability Trends in 2020 ... wasteful plastic packaging), but also the environmental consequences of its production. Ingredients with sustainable and ethical ...
- Yara International ASA: Yara and IBM launch an open collaboration for farm and field data to advance sustainable food productionon January 22, 2020 at 9:05 pm
To meet these commitments, we have taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming and work closely with partners throughout the whole food value chain to develop more climate ...
- Carbon-negative snack company AKUA offers kelp jerky and pastaon January 22, 2020 at 9:55 am
Amidst the growing awareness about our planet’s climate crisis, there is now a burgeoning need for more sustainable ... methane production Why is kelp a good idea for food sustainability?
via Bing News