U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Ohio State University (OSU) scientists isolated an improved variant of the yeast Cryptococcus flavescens about two years ago, and are evaluating its potential as a biocontrol agent.
In susceptible wheat and barley varieties, scab-afflicted kernels appear shrunken and chalky-white. The fungus can also produce a mycotoxin that can diminish the grain's value or make it less safe to eat.
Spraying fungicide can reduce scab by 50 to 60 percent; however, farmers are required to stop using the chemicals soon after wheat starts to flower. Although this measure keeps fungicide residues to a minimum, it can leave the grain vulnerable to new invasions by the scab fungus, notes David Schisler, a plant pathologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). He works at the ARS Crop Bioprotection Research Unit in Peoria, Ill. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.
Since 1998, he has teamed with OSU professor Mike Boehm and others to exploit the ability of some microorganisms to outcompete F. graminearum for space and nutrients in wheat's flowers and seed heads.
In December 2009, their "top pick," the naturally occurring yeast C. flavescens, was licensed by Sci Protek, Inc., of Visalia, Calif. In July, Sci Protek received a second license, this time for strain OH 182.9 3C, a fungicide-tolerant variant of C. flavescens recently discovered by Schisler and Boehm. ARS and OSU are working together in the patenting and licensing of the technology.
According to Schisler, 3C is better at preventing scab than its predecessor and can be applied to wheat either alone or combined with prothioconazole or other similar fungicide chemistries. In 2009 field trials, 3C reduced scab by 30 to 70 percent, versus 10 to 50 percent for C. flavescens. And when combined with prothioconazole, 3C reduced kernel damage by 85 percent versus 60 percent for prothioconazole alone.
A second round of multi-state trials aims to replicate the results, potentially opening the door to dual protection for wheat, both before and after it flowers.
This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Fusarium Head Blight Forum.
This research supports the USDA priority of promoting food safety and the objectives of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.
Jan Suszkiw | EurekAlert!
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences