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Taiwan, U.S. experts make breakthrough in fighting gray mold

Taiwan, U.S. experts make breakthrough in fighting gray mold

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) A team of researchers based in Taiwan and the United States have discovered how grey mold infects crops and flowers, a significant step in finding methods to prevent the common plant infection. It took researchers two years to determine how botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of gray mold, suppresses immunity genes, according to professor Huang Hsien-da, vice dean of Biological Science and Technology at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu City. They infected over 200 plant species including orchids, an important crop in Taiwan, Huang said, before concluding that b. cinerea uses RNA interference to "hijack" host RNA and make it susceptible to infection. The study was published in the October issue of the international journal Science. This discovery is the first time that scientists have successfully gained insight into the mechanism behind infection, something that had previously evaded academia, according to Huang. The research team will next investigate the mechanisms behind skin disease infections such as athlete's foot, Huang said. (By Hsu Chih-wei and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2020-12-03 00:50 GMT+08:00