RxPG News Feed for RxPG News

Medical Research Health Special Topics World
  Home
 
   Health
 Aging
 Asian Health
 Events
 Fitness
 Food & Nutrition
 Happiness
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Parenting
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 
   Healthcare
 Africa
 Australia
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 UK
 USA
 World Healthcare
 
 Latest Research
 Aging
 Alternative Medicine
 Anaethesia
 Biochemistry
 Biotechnology
 Cancer
 Cardiology
 Clinical Trials
 Cytology
 Dental
 Dermatology
 Embryology
 Endocrinology
 ENT
 Environment
 Epidemiology
 Gastroenterology
 Genetics
 Gynaecology
 Haematology
 Immunology
 Infectious Diseases
 Medicine
 Metabolism
 Microbiology
 Musculoskeletal
 Nephrology
 Neurosciences
 Obstetrics
 Ophthalmology
 Orthopedics
 Paediatrics
 Pathology
 Pharmacology
 Physiology
 Physiotherapy
 Psychiatry
 Radiology
 Rheumatology
 Sports Medicine
 Surgery
 Toxicology
 Urology
 
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Epidemics
 Launch
 Opinion
 Professionals
 
   Special Topics
 Ethics
 Euthanasia
 Evolution
 Feature
 Odd Medical News
 Climate

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2013 - 1:22:36 AM
Research Article
Latest Research Channel

subscribe to Latest Research newsletter
Latest Research

   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Avoiding virus dangers in 'domesticating' wild plants for biofuel use

Feb 15, 2013 - 5:00:00 AM
Malmstrom said it's important to catch-up in our understanding of viral ecology, as there are any number of societal issues that need to be addressed in this area.

 
[RxPG] In our ongoing quest for alternative energy sources, researchers are looking more to plants that grow in the wild for use in biofuels, plants such as switchgrass.

However, attempts to domesticate wild-growing plants have a downside, as it could make the plants more susceptible to any number of plant viruses.

In a presentation at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Michigan State University plant biologist Carolyn Malmstrom said that when we start combining the qualities of different types of plants into one, there can be unanticipated results.

Most wild plants are perennials, while most of our agriculture crops are annuals, Malmstrom said. Sometimes when you mix the properties of the two, unexpected things can happen.

For example, annual domestic plants are made to grow quickly. In agriculture we select more for growth, she said. There is a reduced need for the plants to defend themselves because we have taken care of that.

If pest control measures aren't taken, these annual plants can serve as amplifiers, producing lots of viruses and insects to move the viruses around.

In contrast, perennial plants in nature grow slower, but are usually better equipped to fight off invading viruses. When wild-growing perennials do get infected they can serve as reservoirs for viruses, Malmstrom said, a place where viruses can hang out a long time.

In the domestication of wild plants for bioenergy, long-lived plants are being selected for fast growth like annuals. Now you have a plant that could be a long-term reservoir, but it also happens to be faster growing and can serve as an amplifier for viruses. This all-in-one combination could increase virus pressure in crop areas unless mitigated.

Malmstrom said that plant virus ecology and the study of viral interactions between wild-growing plants and agricultural crops is an expanding field. In the last 15 years, disease ecology has really come to the fore as a basic science.

Most of what is known about plant viruses comes from studies of crops. To understand the complete ecology of viruses, researchers are now studying these tiny organisms in nature, too. The mysteries of how plant viruses can play a role in ecosystem properties and processes in natural ecosystems are emerging more slowly, Malmstrom said.

Malmstrom said it's important to catch-up in our understanding of viral ecology, as there are any number of societal issues that need to be addressed in this area.

Society wants us to be able to answer questions such as whether viruses can be used in agricultural terrorism, how to recognize a novel virus, and what happens if a virus is genetically modified and then let loose?



Related Latest Research News
Moderate to severe psoriasis linked to chronic kidney disease, say experts
Licensing deal marks coming of age for University of Washington, University of Alabama-Birmingham
Simple blood or urine test to identify blinding disease
Physician job satisfaction driven by quality of patient care
Book explores undiscovered economics of everyday life
Gene and stem cell therapy combination could aid wound healing
Solving the internet capacity crunch
Breathing new life into preterm baby research
Perceptions of the role of the state shape water services provision
UltraHaptics -- it's magic in the air

Subscribe to Latest Research Newsletter

Enter your email address:


 Feedback
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 
Contact us

RxPG Online

Nerve

 

    Full Text RSS

© All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited (India)