Using plant hormones for food security in Africa


Striga hermonthicaare also known as purple witchweed, which is a parasitic parasite that creates food products in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is thought to take up to 40 per cent of the state's crops, which equates to $ 7-10 billion, put food and supply by 300 million people in danger.

Striga he possesses Achilles's substance: it is a parasite that affects the roots of other plants. If he cannot plant a plant, he dies. Scientists have come up with a method to take advantage of it StrigaAchilles's urine to be cleared from farms.

Salim Al-Babili, a fellow professor of plant science at the University of Science and Technology from King Abdullah, and his colleagues, discovered that they could do a play. Striga a seed that a host was growing near. When the situation is right, it is Striga seeds are growing, but without the introduction of a plant, they cannot survive.

The scientists benefit from plant hormones called strigolactones, which are used by plant roots. That is the hormonan that causes Striga seeds. By handling bare crop fields in Burkina Faso with synthetic strigolactones, the scientists found that they were able to reduce the number of people. Striga plants with more than half.

The scientists' remedies can be applied in crop fields over time of crop rotation and additional water will not be necessary – the treatment starts working when the water falls. Clearly, there are benefits in an area where the water is scarce. Al-Babylon received a $ 5 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue to develop world-wide solutions to Striga problem.

This new approach will allow farmers and scientists to work together to tackle the attack Striga plants and help with security protection of 300 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. The work will be published in Gaelic Plants, People, Planet.


Author of managing author:

Salim Al-Babili

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