New eco-friendly protein antibiotics fight off crop diseases

Scientists from the University of Glasgow have discovered a safe and novel method that can safeguard important crops from the widespread bacterial disease caused by Pseudomonas syringae (Ps). Ps infects a wide range of crop species worldwide including tomato, kiwifruit, pepper, olive, soybeans, and fruit trees. Plant diseases result to massive economic losses, …

Engineered Bacteria Produces BeeFree Honey

A team of 12 students from the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at Israel’s the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has developed a bee-free honey produced by the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which “learns” to make honey following reprogramming in a lab. For the project they named BeeFree, the …

Chemical ‘vaccine’ helps plants repel pathogens

When plants come under attack from invading bacteria, viruses or fungi, they mount a two-pronged response, producing both offensive chemicals to kill invaders and defensive chemicals to prevent infestations from spreading. Now, scientists at Stanford have used a type of chemical vaccine to switch on this plant defense system to …

Scientists discover new antibiotic in tropical forest

Scientists from Rutgers University and around the world have discovered an antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium from a Mexican tropical forest that may help lead to a “plant probiotic,” more robust plants and other antibiotics. Probiotics, which provide friendlier bacteria and health benefits for humans, can also be beneficial …

A symbiotic boost for greenhouse tomato plants

Use of saline water to irrigate crops would bolster food security for many arid countries; however, this has not been possible due to the detrimental effects of salt on plants. Scientists have shown that saline irrigation of tomato is possible with the help of a beneficial desert root fungus. This …

Scientists use CRISPR to develop apples Resistant to fire blight

Erwinia amylovora, the bacterium that causes the fire blight disease in apple, triggers its infection through the DspA/E effector which interacts with the apple susceptibility protein MdDIPM4. Researchers used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to produce defective MdDIPM4 which were delivered to susceptible apples (cultivars, ‘Gala’ and ‘Golden Delicious’) using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. …

Scientists Discover Way to Make Crops Grow in Salty Soils

Scientists from Brigham Young University (USA) have successfully inoculated alfalfa with salt tolerant bacteria, a breakthrough in the fight to reverse falling crop yields caused by increasingly salty farmlands around the world. The research team used bacteria found in the roots of salt tolerant plants to successfully inoculate alfalfa plants against overly salty soil. …