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Researchers Use Wheat's Bacterial Partners to Fight A Pathogen
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2018 07:10AM

Fusarium head blight is a devastating fungal disease that affects wheat and
barley crops worldwide. The American Phytopathological Society reports that
the disease has cost U.S. wheat and barley farmers more than $3 billion
since 1990.

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research
Service (USDA-ARS), together with land managers and other scientists at
research universities, are taking different approaches to solve this
problem. Scientists have taken an interest in using beneficial species from
wheat's microbiome to help the plant's immune system fight off enemies.

Graduate student Briana Whitaker and USDA-ARS microbiologist Matt G. Bakker
have identified beneficial bacteria from the wheat microbiome and are
pitting these against the Fusarium head blight fungus. The research is still
in the early stages, but the research group is comparing the interactions of
the two microbial adversaries under laboratory conditions and also within
the plant.


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