An environmentally friendly method of controlling late blight – Potato News Today

Despite years of research, intensive fungicide spraying remains the only effective way to control late blight of potatoes, as it is very powerful in overcoming plant resistance. Due to environmental concerns about this practice, researchers continue to look for alternative methods of control.

The Reports of the American Society of Phytopathology that possible alternative involves the use of a method known as “spray-induced gene silence” to control the pathogen. This method was created using double-stranded RNA, which is known to trigger a process that removes similar molecules from the recipient cells.

The researchers sprayed double-stranded RNA on infected potato leaves P. infestans and found a clear reduction of late cariesshowing that spray-induced genetic silence has successfully inhibited the development of the disease.

“We have shown for the first time that spray-induced genetic silence can control late blight,” said Ramesh Vetukuri, a plant pathologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who was involved in the research.

“Our study is the first to indicate this P. infestans sporangia can take up dsRNA from their surroundings and effectively suppress the expression of target genes. ”

In addition, because this method does not require labor and can be applied to most pathogens, it has the potential to control many pathogens in an environmentally friendly manner.

“We believe that the use of spray-induced gene silencing to control disease will reduce the use of chemical pesticides. This technology can also be quickly adapted to new targets, ”added Vetukuri.

Source: American Society of Phytopathology
Photo: Author Ramesh R. Vetukuri with plants. Credit: Pruthvi B. Kalyandurg, Poorva Sundararajan, Mukesh Dubey, Farideh Ghadamgahi, Muhammad Awais Zahid, Stephen C. Whisson and Ramesh R. Vetukuri
Scientific work: Pruthvi B. Kalyandurg et al., Spray-induced genetic silencing as a potential control tool for late blight of potato blight, Phytopathology® (2021). DOI: 10.1094 / PHYTO-02-21-0054-SC An environmentally friendly method of controlling late blight – Potato News Today

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