Across Regions

Deep down: Late blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen in Germany has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study — by researchers from Tübingen and their partner institutions in the U.S., France, Slovenia, Belgium and Japan, as well as Göttingen in Germany — may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future. According to the research team, there is a possibility of developing a natural herbicide on the basis of a microbial toxin, which would act very selectively. Another prospect arising from the study, Nürnberger says, is the development of new kinds of biological plant-protective chemicals. Read more on Potatogrower