Seed World

Project Aims to Understand How Biodiversity Endows Plants with Resistance to Pathogens

Courtesy of Kamil Witek, Sainsbury Lab. Leaves resistant to pathogens causing potato disease (left), symptoms (right)

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awards $2.3 million to the Two Blades Foundation, to fund a study looking into the development of durable disease resistance in crop plants and its deployment in agriculture.

Four well-recognized research teams will investigate plant immunity in the United States and Europe. Jeff Dangl (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Brian Staskawicz (University of California, Berkeley), Jonathan Jones (Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, U.K.) and Detlef Weigel (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany) will lead the project at their research institutions.
Understanding plant immunity is essential to helping reduce diseases that can radically alter the production and quality of food. With a rapidly growing global population, losses to important food crops, like potatoes and wheat, can be disastrous. The research teams will focus on three agricultural plant systems found worldwide: Brassicas (mustard greens and their relatives), which are important model organisms in plant biology; nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes and their relatives); and domesticated wheat and related species.
More information is available here:$2.3m-for-plant-disease-resistance