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pesticide alternative

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    27th Aug, 2019

Researchers develop pesticide alternative to protect plants form viral infection.

Context

Researchers develop pesticide alternative to protect plants form viral infection.

About

  • A novel approach to vaccinate plants against viruses can be used as an alternative to toxic pesticides that is harmful both to insects and the environment.
  • During a virus attack, plants initiate a two-stage molecular defense programme which protects them “both at the site of the infection and throughout its structure.
  • The programme first triggers plants’ cells to multiply the virus, which creates viral ribonucleic acid molecules (RNAs). Using special enzyme scissors, the plants then detect these molecules and cut them — a process which produces ‘small interfering RNAs’ (siRNAs).
  • The siRNAs spreads throughout the plant and attach them to a protein called Argonaute. The siRNAs then leads the protein to RNAs viruses to kill them.
  • After six weeks, 90 per cent of the vaccinated plants did not show any signs of infection, but all the untreated plants were killed by the virus.

       

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