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BHU RESEARCHERS REPORT HERITABLE PRIMING IN CROP PLANTS BY TRICHODERMA

By   /  December 19, 2022  /  Comments Off on BHU RESEARCHERS REPORT HERITABLE PRIMING IN CROP PLANTS BY TRICHODERMA

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Varanasi : Crop plants encounter a variety of biotic challenges in the field which at times adversely impact crop yield. In the current scenario of an ever-increasing global population, there is an urgent need to protect plant health by using a sustainable approach to maximise crop productivity and meet food demands. With increasing reliance on chemical crop protection techniques, a number of environmental and health difficulties become inevitable. Priming could be a beneficial strategy in a scenario when there is a huge impact on environment and plant health. This is a strategy for smart plant health care for human welfare. Researchers of Banaras Hindu University have come up with an important finding in this regard. The research group led by Dr. Prashant Singh, Department of Botany, and comprising Menka Tiwari (PhD student) and Rajat Singh (Masters Student), has identified Trichoderma as a priming agent. It has also for the first time reported heritable priming in crop plants like wheat by Trichoderma. This work has been published in one of the high-impact journals (Q1), Frontiers in Plant Science.

Dr. Prashant Singh informed that plant defence priming is an intentional, regulated, and on-demand defensive strategy because the plant is deliberately subjected to a small dose of stress that triggers the defence response only when the plant is attacked by a pathogen. This helps in preventing wasteful metabolic consumption in plants. The concept of “defence priming” is remarkably similar to how vaccines for human diseases are developed. A vaccination works by mimicking a pathogen. It deceives the immune system into believing it is under attack, triggering defence responses such as antibody production. This establishes a defensive memory, allowing the immune system to recall a specific pathogen if the body is exposed to it again, and the vaccine’s primed memory can then respond quickly and effectively. Dr. Singh called it a ‘green vaccination’.

The research group used Trichoderma for the first time as a priming agent in the wheat variety HUW510 and reported that primed HUW510 seeds were more protected against spot-blotch disease caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana. Once induced, priming was maintained throughout the life of wheat plants and passed on to the next generation. The group has named it “intergenerational immune priming” (IGIP). The findings will provide a niche for sustainable food security because an efficient induction of IGIP would allow poor farmers to collect their own seed stocks of more resistant crop varieties, thereby making their food production less vulnerable to outbreaks of pests and disease. Here’s the online link of the study:

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