Gray mold can ruin the taste and appearance of fresh-market grapes, according to Smilanick.
For organic growers, Botrytis is especially troublesome because these producers can’t use the typical treatment, sulfur dioxide, to quell it. That’s why, if commercialized, M. albus could benefit conventional and organic growers alike.
Smilanick, who is based at the ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center near Parlier, Calif., collaborated in Muscodor experiments with microbiologist Monir Mansour and visiting scientist Franka M. Gabler—both at Parlier—and with industry colleagues.
Muscodor acts as a natural fumigant by emitting compounds, harmless to people and animals, that can kill or inhibit the spread of certain other microbes, such as B. cinerea. For example, in experiments with packaged Thompson Seedless grapes, Smilanick and co-investigators found that Muscodor reduced the incidence of Botrytis-infected grapes by up to 85 percent.
A 2009 article in the journal Plant Disease documents their findings.
ARS and the California Table Grape Commission funded the research. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Muscodor research contributes to international food security, a USDA priority.
Marcia Wood | EurekAlert!
Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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