Delicious tropical fruits and vegetables such as papaya, rambutan, longan, dragon fruit and purple-fleshed sweet potato are gaining popularity in the continental United States. But just five years ago, it would have been difficult to find these tropical delicacies in grocery stores. That's because strict quarantine restrictions and phytosanitary measures are in place to ensure agricultural pests like fruit flies don't invade the mainland.
Entomologist Peter Follett and food technologist Marisa Wall, both with the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, HI, were the first to apply generic irradiation protocols to control a wide variety of quarantine insect pests found on fresh commodities. ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the USDA, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
Working closely with colleagues from the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Hawaii Pride LLC and local growers and exporters, Follett found that a generic dose of 150 grays (Gy) of radiation is suitable for controlling the three species of tephritid fruit flies found in Hawaii. He also demonstrated a generic dose of 400 Gy is broadly effective against many other pests. These results contributed to APHIS approval of using generic doses for treatment of Hawaiian produce.
Wall examined product quality after irradiation. Her tests helped establish the maximum dose levels the fruit and vegetables could withstand while ensuring consumers receive a high-quality product.
Thanks to Follett and Wall's research, it is now easier and less costly for Hawaiian growers to share their produce with mainland consumers. As a result of their efforts, the scientists received a 2010 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.
This research has also helped facilitate the world-wide adoption of this technology. A handful of countries—including Mexico, India and Thailand—are currently using generic protocols on a variety of commodities.
Read more about this research in the February 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
Sean Adams | EurekAlert!
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy