Agriculture

How nematodes outsmart the defenses of pests

The western corn rootworm causes economic losses of over 2 billion US dollars in maize cultivation and is thus a serious agricultural pest. Originally from America, the western corn rootworm is currently invading Europe, including Switzerland. A successful pest In an earlier study, Christelle Robert and Matthias Erb from the Institute of plant sciences (IPS) […]

Agriculture

Ancient Egyptians gathered birds from the wild for sacrifice and mummification

In ancient Egypt, Sacred Ibises were collected from their natural habitats to be ritually sacrificed, according to a study released November 13, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sally Wasef of Griffith University, Australia and colleagues. Egyptian catacombs are famously filled with the mummified bodies of Sacred Ibises. Between around 664BC and 250AD, […]

Agriculture

Experts unlock key to photosynthesis, a find that could help us meet food security demands

Scientists have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs. The study, led by the University of Sheffield and published today in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f — the […]

Agriculture

Too much sugar doesn’t put the brakes on turbocharged crops

Plants make sugars to form leaves to grow and produce grains and fruits through the process of photosynthesis, but sugar accumulation can also slow down photosynthesis. Researching how sugars in plants control photosynthesis is therefore an important part of finding new ways of improving crop production. Recent research into highly productive turbocharged crops such as […]

Agriculture

Potential vitamin and Alzheimer’s drug produced in yeast

Ergothioneine is a natural amino acid with antioxidative properties. It prevents cellular stress, which can lead to brain diseases, neurological damage and cancer. In rats and roundworms, research shows that ergothioneine has promising effects in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Also, it has been reported that patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases have […]

Agriculture

Superfood for Mesozoic herbivores?

The long-necked, big bodied sauropod dinosaurs comprise some of the largest terrestrial vertebrates to walk the earth. These behemoths were herbivores that survived solely on plant material. There has been long speculation as to what food resources could have supported their size, particularly when young and growing fast. New research being presented at this year’s […]

Agriculture

Intended to help human, planetary health, EAT-Lancet diet too costly for 1.6 billion people

A new study estimates that a diet meant to improve both human and planetary health would be unaffordable for at least 1.58 billion people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Earlier this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health published recommendations for a universal diet that addresses both human and planetary health. The […]

Agriculture

Nematode fumigants have very low long-term impact on soil health, study suggests

It started with curiosity. How does a fumigant, commonly used for nematode management in potato cropping systems, influence soil microbial communities? To explore this question, scientists at Colorado State University and Oregon State University used high-throughput sequencing techniques to investigate changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structure in response to the application of 1,3-Dichloropropene […]

Agriculture

Origin of deadly wheat pathogen revealed

Stem rust is a devastating wheat disease that has caused famines and undermined economies around the world for centuries. One particular strain of the stem rust fungus, dubbed “Ug99,” threatens the global wheat supply because it can attack more than 80% of all varieties planted across the world. The ability of Ug99 to attack so […]

Agriculture Education Local News

Group knocks Niger Delta states on corruption

An anti-corruption advocacy group, Social Development Integrated Center, (SDIC), has urged Niger Delta citizens to begin the process of engaging their representatives at the state and federal levels, as it concerns their basic needs in the areas of health, education, and agriculture. While presenting their Citizens Budget Analysis and Monitoring Report for 2018 tagged:  Closing […]

Agriculture Local News

NDE advocates partner buy-ins for community development programmes

Judex Okoro, Calabar The Director-General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr Nasieu Mohammed Ladan, has advocated for a buy-in by willing stakeholders to extend NDE development programmes to rural communities. Dr Ladan, who made call while delivering his keynote address at the orientation ceremony of the 2019 Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) held […]

Agriculture

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change. Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These changes have greatly reduced […]

Agriculture

Minimizing post-harvest food losses

The crops have been harvested. Now it is important to store the various crops well and to preserve them as long and as carefully as possible. Post-harvest losses due to spoilage, however, represent a significant problem along the supply chain and lead to profit losses in the millions. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture […]

Agriculture

Reassessing strategies to reduce phosphorus levels in the Detroit river watershed

In an effort to control the cyanobacteria blooms and dead zones that plague Lake Erie each summer, fueled by excess nutrients, the United States and Canada in 2016 called for a 40% reduction in the amount of phosphorus entering the lake’s western and central basins, including the Detroit River’s contribution. Both countries then developed domestic […]

Agriculture

Helpful insects and landscape changes

We might not notice them, but the crops farmers grow are protected by scores of tiny invertebrate bodyguards. Naturally occurring arthropods like spiders and lady beetles patrol crop fields looking for insects to eat. These natural enemies keep pests under control, making it easier to grow the crops we depend on. New research from Michigan […]