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Poison of fire ant can slow down Pythium

Scientific research in Stoneville, Mississippi, has shown that the poison of the fire ant contains a substance that can slow down the growth of the pathogen Pythium ultimum.

Current remedies are expensive and not always effective. The disease causes rotting of the seeds and plants. Producers are looking for a new approach, say Chen Jian, entomologist of the Institute for Plant Protection ARS in the US and Shezeng Li of the Chinese Institute of plant protection.

From the 1950s onward, the poison of the fire ant has been examined for its properties, including the potential for crop protection. The researchers in Stoneville have now demonstrated the desired component. The results were published in 2012 in the magazine "Pest Management Science" and show a significant reduction of the pathogen.

Research in Stoneville also focuses on analogue synthetic plant protection products which have the same effect.


Source: Ars.usda



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