For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. Despite the numerous pesticides that have been developed to combat pests and pathogens, they somehow adapt and become immune. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.
Aspergillus fungi are a group of molds that can wreak havoc in a variety of environments, including agriculture. Interested in finding ways to prevent Aspergillus from reproducing in clinical settings, scientists at the University of Bath conducted a study on Aspergillus nidulans, a food mold that closely mimics an Aspergillus species that is problematic to immunocompromised individuals. The researchers determined that the mechanisms through which Aspergillus nidulans reproduces—G-protein coupled receptors—require specific conditions to allow reproduction and toxin production: food and lighting. In essence, without sugar and darkness, the G-protein coupled receptors of Aspergillus nidulans refuse to reproduce sexually.
Aspergillus fungi reproduce sexually by producing spores and exchanging them with each other, creating hearty, genetically diverse offspring that have a much better chance of acclimating to new environments and evolving to resist antifungal efforts. Aspergillus fungi can also produce asexually, but asexually produced spores are not as successful at adapting to antifungal methods.
The study’s scientists believe their findings will have positive implications for improving crop development and agricultural antifungal compounds as well as clinical research.
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).
British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.
In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.
Cooking at home has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, opening new opportunities for food companies.
The article previews IFT20 scientific sessions
Researchers at the University of Florida are on a mission to save—and sweeten—sweet corn.
During IFT19, an interactive event allowed participants to be immersed in a virtual environment to test whether their surroundings would alter their liking of beverages.
Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.
The report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States and Japan announced the expansion of their organic equivalence arrangement to include livestock products.
According to the Associated Press, Amazon has debuted a new smart shopping cart called the Dash Cart.