Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Viruses That Infect Bacteria Fight Plant Disease?

Date:
November 7, 2003
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
While the medical community has been exploring the use of bacteriophages, a form of virus that can be used to manage bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, plant pathologists with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) now say that this same approach may also help fight plant disease.

St. Paul, Minn. (November 6, 2003) -- While the medical community has been exploring the use of bacteriophages, a form of virus that can be used to manage bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, plant pathologists with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) now say that this same approach may also help fight plant disease.

According to Jason Gill, a phage researcher at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, phages have been proposed as plant-pathogen control agents in a process known as phage therapy--the application of phages to ecosystems to reduce the population size of bacteria. "Phage could be explored as a biological control agent--the use of one organism to suppress another," said Gill.

Like other methods of biological control, one advantage of phage therapy is a reduction in the usage of chemical agents against pest species, which, in the case of phage, means a reduction in the usage of chemical antibiotics, said Gill. Another potential benefit of phage therapy is that phages are generally quite specific for their host bacterial species, and so can be targeted towards harmful bacteria while leaving other, potentially beneficial bacteria intact.

Phage therapy has been used successfully against bacterial blotch of mushrooms caused by Pseudomonas tolaasii. In studies notable for the employment of phage host-range mutants, phage therapy has also been employed against bacterial blight of geraniums and bacterial spot of tomatoes, both caused by pathovars of Xanthomonas campestris.

Though seemingly effective in certain situations, it is likely that phage therapy against bacterial plant pathogens will not prove to be a magic bullet in all cases, said Gill. The natural interactions between phages, bacteria, and plants are still not well understood. While phages that attack pathogenic bacteria can help improve plant health, other phages may attack the bacteria that affect the root nodulation of plants such as soybeans, which are necessary for normal plant growth.

The positive and negative effects of using phages to fight plant disease are the subjects of this month's APS feature article that can be found on the APS website at http://www.apsnet.org. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and management of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "Can Viruses That Infect Bacteria Fight Plant Disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031107055930.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (2003, November 7). Can Viruses That Infect Bacteria Fight Plant Disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031107055930.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "Can Viruses That Infect Bacteria Fight Plant Disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031107055930.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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