New Era in Agriculture – Planting Fungi in Crops

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Scientists have made significant progress by inserting a fungus that is well-known for its ability to kill insects into rapeseed plants. This has led to the development of certain substances that may be used as a defensive mechanism. That is rather motivational, isn’t it? The study, which was carried out by researchers at the University of Turku, found that an organic soil fungus possessing insecticidal qualities could be effectively introduced into rapeseed plants, which resulted in the manufacture of particular defensive molecules inside the plant’s cells. The work was published in the journal Molecular Plant Pathology. Do you feel that agriculture is entering a new era? What would you like to change in order to bring better results?

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Our findings suggest that the interaction between the fungus and the plant enhanced the production of certain compounds beneficial for plant defense. This mechanism operates differently from the plant’s typical defense response against, say, fungal diseases, explains Benjamin Fuchs, Research Specialist and the study’s second author.

In order to conduct their research, the scientists used a fungus known as Beauveria bassiana, which is renowned for its ability to infect and eradicate insects. The researchers went on to establish a mutually beneficial endophytic interaction between the rapeseed species and the fungus. The experts believe that these kinds of mutually beneficial alliances offer a look into the foreseeable future of agriculture. In this scenario, it is the responsibility of society to guarantee the production of food while simultaneously reducing its negative effects on the environment.

The proliferation of the fungus inside the plant’s cells sped up the plant’s synthesis of flavonoids, raised the number of chemicals that are known for their antioxidant capabilities, and improved the plants’ general health. The symbiotic relationship between the crop and the fungus resulted in an increase in the total amount of antioxidant chemicals.

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