New DNA sequencer method achieves early-stage and broad-range detection of wheat diseases

August 28, 2019

Plant diseases, especially those caused by fungal pathogens, jeopardize global crop biosecurity and preventing them requires rapid detection and identification of causal agents. Traditional methods for crop disease diagnosis rely on the expertise of pathologists who can identify diseases by eye, but this approach comes with many limitations, including the reliance on physical appearance of disease symptoms.

Also of note, this traditional method does not allow for the rapid identification of unknown pathogens during an outbreak. This limitation was made obvious recently in Bangladesh, when wheat crops were devastated by an invasion of South American races of wheat blast fungus.

As wheat is one of the world's most important crops, a group of Australia-based scientists wanted to address this limitation by developing a new method for analyzing pathogen DNA in wheat leaf samples. Using a portable DNA sequencer, they were able to achieve early-stage and broad-range detection of pathogens in wheat--and they were also able to characterize all organisms in the wheat and confirmed the presence of an unexpected diseases not previously diagnosed by pathologists.

According to the scientists behind this research, "A combination of on-site and centralized sequencing approaches would, in future, revolutionize management of agricultural biosecurity and reduce crop loss." Additionally, these methods can be incorporated into routine field diseases monitoring and biosecurity monitoring at national borders to save time and money and prevent another devastating outbreak like the one seen in Bangladesh.

This research, discussed in the open access article "Pathogen Detection and Microbiome Analysis of Infected Wheat Using a Portable DNA Sequencer," also explores the way this new strategy can identify diseases-inhibiting microbes for use in environmentally friendly control of diseases. This research was made available online in May 2019 ahead of final publication in the June issue of the fully open access Phytobiomes Journal.
-end-


American Phytopathological Society

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.