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Crop Biotech Update

Nicotinamide Can Protect Wheat from Fungal Attack, Study Shows

June 16, 2021
Photo Source: Kanazawa University

A team of researchers from Kanazawa University, Ehime University, and Nagoya University, has shown how nicotinamide (NIM) could help reduce or prevent Fusarium head blight in wheat and boost plant immune system.

NIM is a natural substance that can help stimulate the immune system in plants. It is found in food and used as a dietary supplement. The team pre-treated the spikes, which carry the grains of wheat plants with NIM and then inoculated the plant with conidia of Fusarium graminearum to induce head blight. The researchers found that pre-treated plants have lesser fungal biomass and produce lesser mycotoxins compared with water-treated wheat. The researchers also used metabolomics to analyze the contents of the compounds in the plants. They found that the pre-treated NIM plants have high amounts of antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds in the 375 substances observed.

The results of the study showed how NIM could activate the plant's immune response and boost its defense-related compounds against fungal and microbial diseases similar to how vaccines work in humans. The study could also lead to a more novel approach to controlling plant diseases in agriculture.

For more details, read the article in Kanazawa University and the journal article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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