Fighting plant disease at warm temperatures keeps food on the table [VIDEO]
Plant disease is one of the most important causes of crop loss worldwide, and pathogenic bacteria and unfavorable climate are two major culprits.
Sometimes, climate and bacteria come together, with devastating consequences.
One of the best historical examples of this is the Irish Potato Famine. Beginning in 1845, Ireland experienced the “perfect storm” of unusually cool, damp weather that provided prime growing conditions for an exotic pathogen that destroyed the potato crop. With their primary food source ravaged by disease, a million Irish people died from the ensuing famine.
On the other end of the thermometer, warmer temperatures also can cause extensive crop loss.
Similar to how chameleons can change colors to blend into their surroundings, cyanobacteria can tune their coloring to better absorb light in different environments.
Plant gene regulation dictates how plants grow under differing environmental conditions, and researchers from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are looking at how different genes control light-dependent processes in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Jianping Hu, professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Plant Biology, received a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the motility of cellular energy organelles, peroxisomes and mitochondria in particular, along the cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis thaliana.