Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fungi found to be effective natural control agents

17.03.2003


A biological process using three different types of fungi to control common plant diseases and mite pests has been developed by researchers at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Rehovot.



Use of these fungi enables crops to overcome such plant diseases and pests without having to apply environmentally-polluting chemicals, said Abraham Sztejnberg, the Hebrew University’s Francis Ariowitsch Professor of Agriculture, a member of the research team. The fungi have been found to be effective in controlling plant mites (a pest relative of spiders) and powdery mildew diseases, both of which cause widespread damage to field crops, flowers and fruit trees.

Prof. Sztejnberg, born in Chile and a graduate of the Hebrew University, said billions of dollars are spent annually in developed countries for controlling mites and powdery mildews with chemical pesticides. Nevertheless, members of the two damage-causing groups have been able to develop resistance to these counter-measures, making it necessary to often change the pesticides – thus adding even more to the costs.


The effectiveness of the three fungi was discovered in joint research involving scientists at the Hebrew University and others in Holland and Florida. Prof. Steinberg, of the Hebrew University’s Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology heads the team, which also includes, from the Hebrew University, Prof. Uri Gerson of the Department of Entomology, Aviva Gafni and Zahi Paz. The foreign participants were Dr. Teun Boekhout of the Centraal Bureau voor Schimmelcultures, Utrecht, Holland, and Dr. G. Scorzetti of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Key Biscayne, Florida.

The fungi used by the scientists are newly-discovered genera and species which have only recently become known to scientists. They are natural entities that have not been transformed by genetic engineering. They were identified by morphological, biochemical and molecular biology techniques. Their unique anti-mite and anti-powdery mildew qualities were demonstrated in laboratory and field work

The importance of the discovery lies in the fact that this is a biological means of plant disease and pest control which does not cause environmental damage to the soil, say the scientists. The development is the outgrowth of a long-term research project, including a master’s degree project carried out by Hebrew University student Zachi Paz, under the supervision of Professors Sztejnberg and Gerson.

A report on the research will appear in the July 2003 issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

The research is continuing, and many additional aspects are being explored. A patent has been applied for through the Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University, and business contacts have been made with a view to commercialization.

Jerry Barrach | Hebrew University

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>