Plant diseases caused by fungal pathogens, and other diseases endanger global crop biosecurity and preventing them requires fast detection and identification of causing agents. Traditional methods for crop disease diagnosis depend on the expertise of pathologists who can establish diseases by eye, but this strategy comes with many limitations, including the reliance on the natural look of disease symptoms.
Also of the word, this traditional method doesn’t permit for the rapid identification of unknown pathogens throughout an outbreak. This limitation was made visible recently in Bangladesh when wheat crops were destroyed by an attack of South American strains and species of wheat blast fungus.
Wheat is one of the world’s most essential crops, a group of Australia-based scientists wanted to address this restriction by creating a new method for analyzing pathogen DNA in wheat leaf samples. Utilizing a portable DNA sequencer, they have been able to obtain early-stage and broad-vary detection of pathogens in wheat—and they had also been competent of characterizing all organisms within the wheat and confirmed the presence of unexpected diseases not previously identified by pathologists.
Based on the scientists behind this analysis, “A mix of on-site and centralized sequencing approaches would, in future, revolutionize the management of agricultural biosecurity and cut back crop loss.” Moreover, these methods could be integrated into routine subject diseases monitoring and biosecurity monitoring at national borders to avoid wasting money and time and prevent one other devastating outbreak, just like the one seen in Bangladesh.
This analysis, mentioned within the open entry article “Pathogen Detection and Microbiome Analysis of Infected Wheat Using a Portable DNA Sequencer,” additionally explores how this new technique can identify diseases-inhibiting microbes to be used in environmentally-friendly control of ailments.