Sydney NSW, Australia
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High-tech spray can prevent and cure rusty plant threat


by University of Queensland
Researchers from The University of Queensland have developed a treatment that can both prevent and cure infection caused by an invasive fungal disease devastating native Australian plants.

Ph.D. candidate Rebecca Degnan, Dr. Anne Sawyer and Professor Neena Mitter worked with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to develop an environmentally friendly spray which uses RNA technology to treat plants infected by myrtle rust.

The research paper is published in Communications Biology.

"We found that when the double stranded RNA was applied to a healthy tree, it prevented the plant from being infected," Degnan said. "What's even more exciting, when we infected the plants and applied the double stranded RNA as late as two weeks post infection, the plants recovered.


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