Biotech Updates

Microalgae Protects Rice From Bacterial Blight

January 10, 2024

Scientists from India identified that the Chlorella thermophila (CT) microalgal strain possesses antimicrobial activity against pathogens that cause bacterial rice blight. The microalgae can also help with wastewater treatment.

Rice is a food staple for over 65% of the world's population, so it is necessary to have a huge supply in different countries. However, its production is affected by various threats, one of which is bacterial leaf blight (BLB). This disease can negatively affect the straw's quality and reduce grain yield by up to 80%.

To address this issue, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and the Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences conducted a study to help eliminate Pantoea agglomerans and Xanthomonas oryzae pv. Oryzae, which are bacterial pathogens that can cause BLB. They cultivated Chlorella thermophila in nutrient-rich dairy wastewater to produce a biomass extract that inhibited the growth of the two bacterial pathogens, which will help in crop protection against bacterial rice blight. The results demonstrate how the microalgae can serve as an alternative to harmful pesticides without affecting crop yield.

For more information, read the journal article on BMC Plant Biology.

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