Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rainfall suspected culprit in leaf disease transmission

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
Rainfalls are suspected to trigger the spread of a multitude of foliar (leaf) diseases, which could be devastating for agriculture and forestry. Instead of focusing on the large-scale, ecological impact of this problem, researchers are studying the phenomenon from a novel perspective: that of a single rain droplet.

Rainfalls are suspected to trigger the spread of a multitude of foliar (leaf) diseases, which could be devastating for agriculture and forestry. Instead of focusing on the large-scale, ecological impact of this problem, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and the University of Liege in Belgium are studying the phenomenon from a novel perspective: that of a single rain droplet.

"One may easily picture that a raindrop impacting a contaminated leaf grabs some of the pathogens there before being ejected and flying towards some healthy plant in the neighborhood," says University of Liege assistant professor of engineering Tristan Gilet, who presented the team's research at the upcoming meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) in Baltimore, Md., along with MIT colleagues Lydia Bourouiba, a postdoctoral associate, and John Bush, professor of applied mathematics. But a more plausible scenario, Gilet continues, is that bacteria, viruses, and fungi dissolve into rainwater sitting on the surface of a leaf, and that this disease-carrying rainwater is then pushed off the leaf by other raindrops.

Using a high-speed camera to film artificial rainfall on a series of plants, the team identified two patterns of droplet ejection. The first is direct: a raindrop hits pathogen-infested water on a leaf and splashes some of it off. The second is indirect: a raindrop hits the leaf, whose violent movement ejects some of the disease-carrying water that had been sitting on it. From their modeling and experiments, the team concludes that the direct splashing method is a more efficient disease spreader for relatively large and rigid leaves, while smaller and more pliant leaves are more likely to be affected by the indirect method.

The cost of plant diseases is estimated at three billion dollars a year in the United States alone, the researchers write. They say they hope their work will provide some guidance for farmers, by providing suggestions for the optimal spacing between plants, for example.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Rainfall suspected culprit in leaf disease transmission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121104103.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2011, December 1). Rainfall suspected culprit in leaf disease transmission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121104103.htm
American Physical Society. "Rainfall suspected culprit in leaf disease transmission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121104103.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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