Wheat growers of the inland Pacific Northwest have been slow to adopt no-till farming, in part because short-term residue accumulation can encourage fungal soil-borne disease outbreaks. But over longer periods, researchers at Washington State University and the University of Idaho noticed fewer outbreaks in fields where no-till was practiced for multiple seasons. New and cutting-edge research featured in Phytobiomes, an open-access journal of APS, paves the way for further study of this phenomenon.
Researchers in Japan have discovered that cockroaches can disperse seeds like birds and mammals. A variety of seed dispersing animals had been identified, including birds, monkeys, ants, and even slugs, but no cockroaches. This unexpected discovery was made during a study of the seed dispersal mechanism of Monotropastrum humile, a small herb that thrives in the same temperate forests of Japan that the Blattella nipponica cockroach inhabits.
The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the US Geological Survey.
Soil profiling is a powerful tool used in researching sudden death syndrome of soybean. In a new Phytobiomes journal article, titled 'Unraveling Microbial and Edaphic Factors Affecting the Development of Sudden Death Syndrome in Soybean,' Srour, et al. demonstrate, for the first time, the latest technologies to detect and profile microbial populations in 'diseased' and 'healthy' soils and to correlate their presence with the incidence and severity of SDS.
More than a century ago, Reginald Buller discovered that a spherical drop of water that forms close to a spore is crucial to the spore's dispersal. Now, using an ink jet printer and high speed cameras, researchers have uncovered the detailed mechanics of the way fungal spores have evolved to harness the power of merging water droplets to launch in a uniform manner.
Twenty years ago, microbiologist Barry Goodell, now a professor at UMass Amherst, and colleagues discovered a unique system that some microorganisms use to digest and recycle wood. Three orders of 'brown rot fungi' have now been identified that can break down biomass, but details of the mechanism were not known. Now, using several complementary research tools, Goodell and colleagues report new details of an unexpected mechanism at work, one that surprisingly does not involve enzymes, the usual accelerators of chemical reactions.
A new species of non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant has been discovered on the subtropical island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, Japan and named Sciaphila sugimotoi. The research team responsible for this discovery was led by Project Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science) and these findings will be published on July 25 in Phytotaxa.
Probiotics, being live microbes, exert numerous beneficial health effects on the host cells. Such probiotics are commercially available as dietary supplements, foods, pharmaceutical formulations. Yakult, Activia yogurt, DanActive fermented milk provide health benefits like boosting up the immune system, treating digestive problems, mental illness, neurological disorders, cancer, etc.
A plant parasitic nematode is a pest that parasitizes the roots of agricultural crops and creates nests called 'galls' which deprive plants of nutrition. Research from Japan on plant reactions to parasitic worms shows that parasitism activates plant stem cells which grow to form galls on their roots. This finding is expected to improve crop breeds and alleviate nematode damage, which is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year worldwide.
The Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory of the UEx has carried out a study to quantify radioactive presence in fungi. According to the research, this quantification is made using transfer coefficients that compare the radioactive content in the receptor compartment (fungi) of the radioactive contamination, to that existing in the transmitter compartment (soil). From the study, we may conclude that fungi can be used when assessing the presence or absence of radioactive contamination in the soil.