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 Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>