Nav: Home

Scientists alleviate environmental concerns about BCA usage on powdery mildews

September 09, 2019

St. Paul, MN (September 2019)--Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that infects many plants around the world, absorbing their nutrients and weakening or even killing them. In turn, powdery mildews are often attacked in the field by even smaller mycoparasites (fungi that feed on other fungi).

These mycoparasites penetrate the powdery mildews on the host plant surface and live inside of them, reducing or even stopping the harmful effects of the powdery mildew. Because of this, some strains of these mycoparasites (which belong to the genus Ampelomyces) are used as commercialized biocontrol agents (BCAs) of powdery mildews. There have been concerns about the environmental impact of the usage of these BCAs as little is known about the interactions between mycoparasites and powdery mildews.

To address environmental concerns, and to better understand these interactions, a group of scientists working at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Institute of Technology, and the University of Southern Queensland (Australia) genetically modified two strains of the mycoparasite to express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). As a result, the mycoparasites emit green light when examined with a fluorescence microscope, enabling researchers to better understand their structures and functions. This is the first study to explore these interactions with fluorescent protein biotechnology.

Their research revealed that these mycoparasites can live up to 21-days on mildew-free host plant surfaces, where they can attack powdery mildew structures as soon as they appear. Also of note, this research showed that these mycoparasites cannot spread in sterile soil or in decomposing leaves on the ground, showing that concerns about the potentially negative environmental impact of the BCAs are largely unsubstantiated.

These results, which can be found in "Green Fluorescent Protein Transformation Sheds More Light on a Widespread Mycoparasitic Interaction" published in the August issue of Phytopathology, present the first successful genetic transformation of a group of common mycoparasites that have also been used as a BCA of an important group of crop pathogens. They are important for both biocontrol studies of crop pathogens and the ecology of natural interfungal parasitic relationships.
-end-
About Phytopathology

For more than 100 years Phytopathology™ has been the premier international journal for publication of articles on fundamental research that advances understanding of the nature of plant diseases, the agents that cause them, their spread, the losses they cause, and measures used to control them. Articles are characterized by their novelty, innovativeness, and the hypothesis-driven nature of their research.

Follow us on Twitter @Phytopathologyj and visit https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/journal/phyto to learn more.

American Phytopathological Society

Related Environmental Impact Articles:

Environmental solutions to go global
New Australian technology that could fix some of the world's biggest environmental pollution problems -- oil spills, mercury pollution and fertiliser runoff -- will soon be available to global markets following the signing of a landmark partnership with Flinders University.
70% of Americans rarely discuss the environmental impact of their food
American consumers are hungry for more climate-friendly plant-based diets, but they need more information, according to a new survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the Earth Day Network.
Estimating the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining
As an alternative to government-issued money, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin offers relative anonymity, no sales tax and freedom from bank and government interference.
Atmospheric and environmental changes impact organ-specific lupus flares
New research findings presented at the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting found a strong association between changes in atmospheric and environmental variables 10 days before a clinic visit and organ-specific lupus flares in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Research brief: Nutritious foods have lower environmental impact than unhealthy foods
Widespread adaptation of healthier diets would markedly reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and food production.
Placenta transit of an environmental estrogen
The human foetus is considered to be particularly sensitive to environmental contaminants.
Diets of Latinos and blacks have greatest environmental impact per dollar spent on food
Despite spending less than white households on food overall, black and Latino households have more impact on the environment per dollar spent on food than white households, according to a new study published in Environmental Engineering Science.
New data platform illuminates history of humans' environmental impact
Animal remains found at archaeological sites tell the millennia-long story of how humans have hunted, domesticated and transported wildlife, altered landscapes and responded to environmental changes such as shifting temperatures and sea levels.
Environmental pollutants could impact cellular signs of aging
Researchers have linked some environmental pollutants with diseases, a decreased life span and signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and age spots.
The success of an environmental charge
In October 2015, England introduced a charge for single-use plastic bags in supermarkets.
More Environmental Impact News and Environmental Impact Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Uncharted
There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 1: Numbers
In a recent Radiolab group huddle, with coronavirus unraveling around us, the team found themselves grappling with all the numbers connected to COVID-19. Our new found 6 foot bubbles of personal space. Three percent mortality rate (or 1, or 2, or 4). 7,000 cases (now, much much more). So in the wake of that meeting, we reflect on the onslaught of numbers - what they reveal, and what they hide.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.