Fig.1. This cup of coffee is in danger, thanks to a pest devastating coffee crops (Credit: Fil.Al via Flickr)
From coffee to rice, humans are dependent on their agricultural systems in many different ways. Recent research has drawn attention back to ancient times, addressed bacterial blight in rice, found disease resistant peanuts and more!
- Do you need coffee to get through the day? Probably not as much as this pest, which survives on enormous amounts of caffeine and is a scourge to coffee crops worldwide: “Gut Microbes Enable Coffee Pest To Withstand Extremely Toxic Concentrations of Caffeine,” Berkeley Lab (14 July 2015)
- Some researchers believe agriculture is more than 10,000 years older than previously thought, thanks to these ancient weeds found at an early human settlement on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, “Discovery Shows Origins of Agriculture Twice As Old As Previously Thought,” Tech Times (22 July 2015)
- This discovery sheds light on a key part of the rice immune system that protects the vital crop against bacterial blight: “Unlocking The Rice Immune System,” Berkeley Lab (24 July 2015)
- A new, disease resistant variety of peanuts can not only protect valuable crops against pathogens, but also save money (and the environment) by avoiding fungicides. Extra health benefits are a bonus! “Breeding A Better Peanut Butter,” EurekAlert! (30 July 2015)
- Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population and it now has the chance to prevent up to 17 percent of global methane emissions with this simple, genetic switch: “Tiny Grains Of Rice Hold Big Promise For Greenhouse Gas Reductions, Bioenergy,” PNNL News Center (28 July 2015)