Noelle Swan

Study Highlights Fungal Threats to Global Food Security

In Food Security on April 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

This article was first published online by Seedstock.com on April 27, 2012.

Photo Credit: Petr Kosina/CIMMYT

Every year, fungal and fungal-like infections targeting the world’s major crops of rice, corn, wheat, potatoes, and soybeans destroy enough food to feed 600 million mouths per year, says Sarah Gurr, professor of plant pathology at Oxford University. And that figure solely represents low levels of infection. Epidemic infections could drastically compromise the global food system. This news comes at a time when agricultural producers around the world are attempting to intensify food production in order to meet steady population growth.

Gurr published her findings this month in conjunction with researchers from England’s Imperial College, Harvard Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the scientific journal, Nature, within a broader paper addressing fungal threats to animal, plant, and ecosystem health.

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