Update: Plant Health News (27 Aug 14)

Soil health issues cost African farmers $4 billion a year in lost crop productivity © Gates Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND)
Soil health issues cost African farmers $4 billion a year in lost crop productivity © Gates Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including surveillance robots that can detect weeds and pest insects, a focus on gender capacity development in Ethiopia and smallholder farmers in Africa adopting practices to improve their field soil health.

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Update: Plant Health News (16 Jul 14)

wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)
Wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the varying effects of rain on crops in Ivory Coast, the discovery of wheat genes that control boron tolerance and the projects managed by FAO that aim to improve food security in Africa.

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Genetic Engineering in Barbados

Agrobacterium on Sorrel

 

The Sorrel plant (left) was one of those found by the trainees during the recent training in Module 1 of how to be a plant doctor. The plant doctor training uses live plant material as well we photographs to lead the trainees through the process of field diagnosis.

The large and hard beige lump at the base of the stem is a gall caused by the bacterium  Agrobacterium tumefaciens.  The unique thing about this host/ pathogen interaction is the fact that DNA from the bacterium is inserted into the plant where it remains even long after the bacteria have been removed. This is the only natural example of DNA transfer of this kind; a natural genetic engineer.

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