News International Sugar Journal

Studies with sugarbeet reveal that soil borne plant diseases can be controlled by a community of soil microbes [Registered]

An immune system that helps plants fight diseases is not dissimilar to one in mammals. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Netherland’s Wageningen University found that plants rely on a complex community of soil microbes to defend themselves against pathogens, in much the same way mammals harbor a raft of microbes to avoid infections. The scientists deciphered, for the first time, a group of microbes that enables a patch of soil to suppress a plant-killing pathogen. Previous research on the phenomenon of disease-suppressive soil had identified one or two pathogen-fighting microbes…

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