Microbes in the News.


How plant microbes could feed the world and save endangered species

From  ScienceNews 9/6/18

Summary- Recently scientists have begun to study the micro biomes of different plants and how they relate to disease resistance. Certain crops such as Cacao are threatened buy fungal diseases, however they appear to be more resistant when diverse microbial colonies are also present on their leafs. This strategy of protecting plants could be applied to many other crops that are threatened by fungal diseases.

connection- We’ve talked in class about the diversity of ¬†microbial life as well as how bacteria and fungus like penicillin interact.

Critical analysis- This story was very interesting to me because it addressed the important issue of food security for the future. The article mentioned the growing global food demand and how new practices must be adopted in order to maximize crop yield. While I knew about the microbiom within and on humans I had never really thought about how that concept would apply to plants and how they would probably have their on microbioms as well. This story also raised many concerns for me about the state off industrial farming such as the amount of toxic fertilizers and lack of genetic diversity present in many of our crops. Overall this article seemed fact based and reliable due to the research that was cited. The article was written in a way that most people should understand while still including the important research.

Question- While a lot of this information was knew to me, it seems like we should have known this stuff for a while. Yet, I believe that this research is still not applied to many farms on a wide scale. Why is that? Are we just to lazy or has it not become cost effective yet?


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