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2024-04-14T23:56:00.0000000Z
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Researchers identify microbes that help plants thwart parasite

Phys.Org

by Liana Wait, UC Davis
Bacteria that could help one of Africa's staple crops resist a major pest have been identified by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Their findings, published in Cell Reports, could improve yields of sorghum, a mainstay of food and drink in West and East African countries.

About 20% of Africa's sorghum crop is lost due to witchweed (Striga hermonthica), a parasitic plant that steals nutrients and water by latching onto the plant's roots.

In the new study, UC Davis researchers show that soil microbes induce changes in sorghum roots that make the plant more resistant to infection by witchweed. They identified specific strains of bacteria that trigger these resistance traits and could be applied as a soil "probiotic" to improve sorghum yields in future.

Read on: https://phys.org/news/2024-03-microbes-thwart-parasite.html

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