Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving the resistance of maize by using bacteria

Date:
September 8, 2011
Source:
NCCR Plant Survival
Summary:
Maize plants that have been inoculated with bacteria naturally present in the soil show improved resistance against a pathogenic fungus and a considerable reduction in the number of attacks by a herbivorous moth. It is the first time that such a double effect has been shown in maize.

Maize plants that have been inoculated with bacteria naturally present in the soil show improved resistance against a pathogenic fungus and a considerable reduction in the number of attacks by a herbivorous moth. It is the first time that such a double effect has been shown in maize. The results of these studies carried out at the University of Neuchβtel under the supervision of Brigitte Mauch-Mani have been presented at the PR-IR 11 congress on plant defences.

A pathogenic fungus responsible for a disease called anthracnose has been causing serious damage to cereal crops on the North American continent, especially during the 1970's. "Colletotrichum graminicola is not limited to crops. It also affects golf courses, parks and private gardens where the grass changes to an unappealing brown colour, states Dirk Balmer, a PhD student in the molecular and cellular biology laboratory and co-author of the research. Luckily, the problem in Europe is not as serious since the cultivated varieties on this continent are naturally less sensitive to this disease."

In order to test a way to improve the resistance of maize to this pathogen, Chantal Planchamp, the other principal co-author of this study and PhD student in the same group, inoculated the plants with a soil bacterium of the genus Pseudomonas. This microorganism is known to easily colonise maize seeds and roots without damaging the plant. The bacterium acts somewhat like a vaccine by halting the pathogenic fungus's proliferation. Furthermore, it seems that the presence of the bacterium helps to limit the herbivorous moth's attacks.

The origin of this double action protection of maize still needs to be clarified, particularly through the analysis of the mechanisms activated by the plant, such as the production of hormones or specific metabolites.

In parallel to the experiments of Chantal Planchamp, Dirk Balmer wanted to know how the plant reacts to a C. Graminicola infection. It turned out that an infection at the root zone triggers important resistance reactions that spread all the way to the leaves. An inverse effect (leaf to root) has also been shown, but not as pronounced. "It's the first time that a study shows the effects of a systemic resistance caused by this infection. This was possible because the fungus attacks both the roots and leaves of maize," adds Dirk Balmer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NCCR Plant Survival. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NCCR Plant Survival. "Improving the resistance of maize by using bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908080956.htm>.
NCCR Plant Survival. (2011, September 8). Improving the resistance of maize by using bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908080956.htm
NCCR Plant Survival. "Improving the resistance of maize by using bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908080956.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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