Biotechnology to the rescue of Brussels sprouts

phys.org | 2/5/2019 | Staff
joseph76 (Posted by) Level 3
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From Brussels, China or Milan. "Surnames" aside, cabbages are grown nowadays all over the world. Like them, many other plants from the Brassicaceae family such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and even mustard... yes, strange as it may seem and though their tastes are very different, a Brussels sprout and a mustard seed belong to the same family...have a common enemy. The enemy is white rust, or at least one kind of white rust. Specifically, cabbages are threatened by a disease caused by a pathogen called Albugo candida, which acts exactly like a fungus, though it is not actually a fungus. That is to say, it spreads under the right conditions of humidity and temperature and eats up the nutrients of the plants it attacks.

Though not lethal, the disease is fairly common and can be identified by the appearance of white pustules on the plant's leaves that change color until they turn brown, damaging the affected part until it is no longer edible. The similarities it shares with fungi has facilitated the use of treatments for white rust being modeled on fungicides. Nevertheless, the need to find long-term solutions in order to curb low harvest yields has the international scientific community hard at work.

Today - Proceedings - National - Academy - Sciences

Today, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has published the work of a team made up of researchers from eight European universities and research centers headed by Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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