Chinese researchers discover mycovirus can help rapeseed plants

September 29, 2020 |

In China, researchers have discovered that a fungal virus (also called a mycovirus) can convert deadly fungal pathogens into beneficial fungus in rapeseed plants. Once transformed, the fungus boosts the plant’s immune system, making the plant healthier and more resistant to diseases. These findings, published on September 29 in the journal Molecular Plant, indicate that some fungal viruses can be used for developing “plant vaccines” to improve crop health and enhance crop yield.

When infected by the mycovirus, the rapeseed-threatening fungus loses its virulence. Instead of killing the plant, the virus-infected fungus lives peacefully within the plant and even comes with some benefits. Jiang and his colleagues infected the rapeseeds by inoculating seeds with virus-infected fungus fragments and observed a boost in the plants’ immune system, an 18 percent increase in weight and more root growth. These plants not only grew bigger and stronger, but it could also resist other diseases.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Research

Thank you for visting the Digest.