Disease Resistance

rice-field-bannerOne of PGX’s core capabilities lies in significantly extending the performance potential of plants to respond positively to stresses imposed upon them by a wide range of environmental factors, such as excessive salinity, mineral deficiencies, toxicity, extremes of climate, and bacterial and viral attack.

Reducing losses due to plant disease without pesticides will have a major impact on cost reduction and productivity increases for producers. As well as health benefits for consumers and the environment.

In the words of PGX’s Chief Scientist, Malcolm  Lamont, “To plants, there is no difference to being stressed by salt or stressed by bacteria; they respond with the same class of mechanisms driven by their secondary gene functions, as they have for millions of years. Given enough time (and that may be thousands or millions of years) a plant species will eventually find a solution to a particular disease – or become extinct.  What we are able to do with our technology is accelerate the process of adaptation.

Some examples of this that are currently under evaluation include;

  • Psa-V in Kiwi Fruit,
  • Cmm in Tomato,
  • Myrtle Rust which affects plants in the Myrtaceae family, including many Australian native species such as Eucalypt,
  • Witches Broom disease in Cocoa.

Oswald & Nuismer in their 2007 paper ‘Neoploidy and Pathogen Resistance’ put it this way;

“We find that for the genetic mechanisms of pathogen resistance with the best empirical support, newly formed polyploid populations of hosts are expected to be more resistant than their diploid progenitors. This effect can be quite strong and, in the case of perennial species with recurrent polyploid formation, may last indefinitely…”

PGX welcomes enquiries from interested parties. Email.