University of Florida

US: Researchers develop model to help keep crop seeds healthy

Working with international rresearchers, University of Florida scientists have developed a model that will help protect good seeds, which are necessary to plant healthy crops and determine what areas are at higher risk for unhealthy seeds.

In many parts of the world, people lack adequate access to nutritious food because there aren’t enough quality seeds for food production, said Karen Garrett, a plant pathology professor at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“We model where the disease is likely to move next and the management strategies that are likely to be most helpful,” said Garrett, a co-author of a new study on how good and bad seeds get from one place to another.

In the newly published research, Garrett and one of her doctoral students, Kelsey Andersen -- the lead author on the study -- led a team of UF/IFAS researchers and colleagues in Uganda and the United Kingdom. The research team studied seed systems in Africa. Seed systems are composed of people and businesses that make seed available, and farmers who use that seed.

As a result of the research, scientists developed a model that will help them find seed-borne pathogens and provides recommendations for how to stop the pathogens from spreading.


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