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.
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New research is refining our understanding of how light wavelengths impact how plants develop their chloroplasts.
The protein, peroxiredoxin Q, is known to maintain a healthy balance of chemicals and energy levels in chloroplasts. The new research shows the protein also impacts the system that produces chloroplast membranes.
The CAMTA system - which is known to protect plants from cold weather - plays a newly discovered role: when bacteria invade a leaf, CAMTA warns neighboring, unaffected leaves to prepare for invasion.