A Tale of Two Fungi: Wheat Rust and Its Parasite

Wheat is crucial to the global food supply. However, pathogenic fungi, such as rusts, can destroy wheat crops by depleting nutrients. In order to reduce damage caused by rusts, biological control measures are under investigation. Here, we see evidence that another fungus can actually prey on the rust fungus, reducing the rust’s ability to cause disease in wheat.

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Endophytes: Enemies or Friends?

Endophytes are microorganisms, such as fungi, that live inside plant tissue. They can benefit a plant by secreting chemicals that deter and inhibit pathogen growth. Trees are under increasing stress due to warming environmental conditions, making them more prone to disease. This study investigates whether endophytes from Scots pine have antagonistic abilities and if they can create a systemic immune response within the plant. This response could result in lower disease severity.

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