Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Karnal Bunt Struggles To Spread Without Large Numbers

Date:
August 5, 2002
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Luckily for us, the economically devastating Karnal bunt fungus needs personal ads and singles bars more than we do. Airborne spores from the fungus, which damages wheat crops, are limited in how well they can start new infections over long distances, according to the findings from a Kansas State University project.

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Luckily for us, the economically devastating Karnal bunt fungus needs personal ads and singles bars more than we do.

Related Articles


Airborne spores from the fungus, which damages wheat crops, are limited in how well they can start new infections over long distances, according to the findings from a Kansas State University project.

A phenomenon known as the Allee effect occurs when a small population of a species spread over a large area has little success in reproduction. The reason is that when individuals are dispersed over a wide area, it becomes difficult to find a mate. Like male and female humans, each Karnal bunt spore has something similar to a gender, and must find a spore with a different gender to reproduce. Karnal bunt has a larger spore that can reproduce on its own, but is heavier and less likely to be blown over long distances. It is the bunt's lighter, airborne spore that needs a mate.

Small populations of the Karnal bunt pathogen are therefore expected to decline, instead of grow.

"If there is an Allee effect, as there is with this fungus, it makes it harder for a population to get over that hump to be a viable population. It makes it harder for the Karnal bunt pathogen to invade," said Karen Garrett, assistant professor of plant pathology at K-State. "With this fungus, the population needs a critical mass to function well."

Garrett is working on the Allee research with Robert Bowden, U.S. Department of Agriculture research plant pathologist. The results of their work will be presented at the Ecological Society of America's meeting in Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 4 to 9.

The research is good news for farmers in the U.S. Many countries have trade barriers against areas that are infested with Karnal bunt. Some regions in Arizona and Texas, where the pathogen has been found, cannot export wheat to those countries. Such a ban would be devastating in a state like Kansas, where wheat growers heavily depend on exports. Garrett said the results of the study may influence how trade officials in other countries regard the risk of Karnal bunt to their own wheat industry.

"That's part of why there is so much interest in the invasive potential of this pathogen," Garrett said.

Karnal bunt has little effect on the amount of wheat that a crop can produce, but it does affect its quality. Wheat infected with Karnal bunt tends to have a fishy odor and may have an unpleasant taste.

Garrett and Bowden described the Allee effect for Karnal bunt after running mathematical models. Garrett noted that some aspects of the life cycle of the Karnal bunt pathogen are not well understood, so their results will need to be adjusted as new research becomes available.

"We're making some assumptions to come up with particular risk estimates, but it is clear that this requirement to find another mating type will reduce the Karnal bunt pathogen's potential as an invasive species," Garrett said.

Garrett and Bowden received funding for work with plant disease epidemics from the National Science Foundation and the Kansas State Agricultural Experiment Station. Their work will be published in the journal Phytopathology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Karnal Bunt Struggles To Spread Without Large Numbers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020805074842.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2002, August 5). Karnal Bunt Struggles To Spread Without Large Numbers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020805074842.htm
Kansas State University. "Karnal Bunt Struggles To Spread Without Large Numbers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020805074842.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) As this giant Great Dane lays down for bedtime he accompanied by an adorable companion. Watch a tiny Chihuahua jump up and prepare to sleep on top of his friend. Now that&apos;s a pretty big bed! Credit to &apos;emma_hussey01&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins