By using DNA sequencing to make pathogen-specific probes, researchers are able to detect and count the deadly bacteria in soil and on plant surfaces and advise growers on the best method of disease control.
Currently, there are more than a dozen different kinds of scab-producing Streptomyces that affect potato crops worldwide. These filamentous pathogens can penetrate expanding plant cells, including potato tubers, producing raised or pitted scab-like lesions.
S. scabies is pathogenic due to its ability to produce thaxtomin, a protein that breaks down the walls of growing cells, which is encoded on a short segment of DNA transferred during mating. This gives the bacterium the ability to infect any elongating part of a plant that is underground. It is these thaxtomin biosynthethic genes that have been used to develop the pathogen-specific probes.
The potato crop is propagated vegetatively and when infected seed tubers are shipped around the globe, the harmful bacteria get a free ride to new production areas. It is not uncommon to find more than one scab-producing species in the same place, and by using the new probes, scientists can target all known variants. With further advancements in DNA analysis, even better techniques to identify these pathogens and prevent disease may be developed in the future.
Other features in the May 2007 issue of Microbiology Today include:• An introduction to the actinobacteria (page 60)
Janet Hurst | alfa
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences