An insidious fuzzy gray mold that often coats refrigerated strawberries and many other plants during growing and storage may be prevented by a gene identified by a Purdue University researcher.
Purdue researcher Tesfaye Mengiste has identified the gene responsible for causing a fuzzy, gray mold that attacks fruits, such as strawberries and tomatoes. Mengiste, an assistant professor in the botany and plant pathology department, says gray mold disease destroys about 25 percent of the tomato and strawberry crop during some seasons. (Purdue University photo by Tom Campbell)
The mold is caused by a fungus, Botrytis cinerea, that often enters plant tissue through wounded or dead areas such as wilted petals, bruised fruit or at the site of pruning. In the November issue of the journal The Plant Cell, Purdue plant molecular biologist Tesfaye Mengiste and his colleagues at Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. report that the gene, called BOS1, is the first protein identified that regulates plant response to both biological and non-biological stresses.
"Botrytis affects many important crops in the field, in the greenhouse and in post-harvest situations," said Mengiste, an assistant professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. "It attacks flowers, fruits, vegetables, bulbs, leaves and stems. It has a tremendous capacity to inflict disease and eventually cause loss of quality and yield."
Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
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