Unmet Need: Effective control of Powdery Scab Disease of potatoes
The powdery scab pathogen causes cosmetic damage on tuber skin impacting the marketability of the potatoes. It further causes root galls, which reduces nutrient and water uptake. The pathogen is also responsible for Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) which leads to internal tuber necrosis. There is an urgent need for better pathogen management strategies for this disease.
The Technology: Use of Peptide elicitor and its delivery through Bacillus subtilis
Researchers at WSU have generated a transgenic rhizobacteria Bacillus subtillis that secretes a potato defense peptide: StPep1. The engineered bacteria were confirmed to produce and secrete detectable levels of the plant elicitor peptide. This work would allow researchers to modify Bacillus spp. to secrete defense peptides against a variety of plant pathogens.
• Pathogen management to control highly contagious diseases in roots and tuber crops.
• This strategy would be applicable against a variety of plant pathogens and against different plant diseases for many different crop species.
• This could minimize dependence on harmful chemicals/pesticides.
• Bacillus spp. doesn’t affect the root mass. It has neutral or positive effects on early plant growth.
• The approach is environmentally friendly and inexpensive.