A path to defeating crop-killing gray mold without toxins
It’s a mold that causes billions in crop losses every year, infecting berries, tomatoes and most other fruits and vegetables. Now, researchers have found a way to defeat the mold without showering toxic chemicals on the crops.
Widely consumed vegetable oil leads to an unhealthy gut
UC Riverside-led mouse study reports diets high in soybean oil decrease endocannabinoids in the gut and can lead to colitis
After wildfires, do microbes exhale potent greenhouse gas?
Laughing gas is no laughing matter — nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Scientists are racing to learn whether microorganisms send more of it into the atmosphere after wildfires.
Mexican mangroves have been capturing carbon for 5,000 years
Researchers have identified a new reason to protect mangrove forests: they’ve been quietly keeping carbon out of Earth’s atmosphere for the past 5,000 years.
Drought increases microbe-laden dust landing in Sierras
Dust from all over the world is landing in the Sierra Nevada mountains carrying microbes that are toxic to both plants and humans. Research from UC Riverside shows higher concentrations of the dust are landing at lower elevations, where people are more likely to be hiking.
Meet the forest microbes that can survive megafires
New UC Riverside research shows fungi and bacteria able to survive redwood tanoak forest megafires are microbial “cousins” that often increase in abundance after feeling the flames.
Why doesn’t fire kill some bacteria and fungi?
UC Riverside scientists will spend the next three years studying the traits that allow soil microbes to respond to fire, as well as the role those microbes play in storing or emitting powerful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide.
Human gut bacteria have sex to share vitamin B12
Your gut bacteria need vitamin B12 just as much as you do. Though DNA is usually passed from parent to child, new research shows gut bacteria transfer genes through “sex” in order to take their vitamins.
Black eyed peas could help eliminate need for fertilizer
Black eyed peas’ ability to attract beneficial bacteria isn’t diminished by modern farming practices, new UC Riverside research shows. Planting it in rotation with other crops could help growers avoid the need for costly, environmentally damaging fertilizers.
Modified yeast inhibits fungal growth in plants
External application could reduce agricultural reliance on fungicides
$1.9 million award could keep Zika virus at bay
A UC Riverside virologist has won a $1.9 million award to help prevent the re-emergence of Zika virus, which causes microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults.
Protein discovery could help enable eco-friendly fungicides
New UC Riverside research reveals an essential step in scientists’ quest to create targeted, more eco-friendly fungicides that protect food crops.
Turning food waste back into food
UC Riverside scientists have discovered fermented food waste can boost bacteria that increase crop growth, making plants more resistant to pathogens and reducing carbon emissions from farming.
Root bacteria could help defeat fatal citrus disease
A UC Riverside-led team is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — Huanglongbing, a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded the team $10 million to investigate the role of soil...
Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to ‘smell’ food
New UC Riverside research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat. The study offers new avenues for protecting people from starvation due to pathogenic fungus-induced food shortages. Understanding how fungi sense and digest plants can also...
Carb-eating bacteria under viral threat
Strictly speaking, humans cannot digest complex carbohydrates — that’s the job of bacteria in our large intestines. UC Riverside scientists have just discovered a new group of viruses that attack these bacteria.
Let them eat rocks
UC Riverside is leading an effort that could help ensure food security and improve the worst effects of climate change — by studying rock-eating bacteria and fungi.
New tools in the fight against lethal citrus disease
Scientists are closer to gaining the upper hand on Huanglongbing, a disease that has wiped out citrus orchards across the globe. New models of the bacterium linked to the disease reveal control methods that were previously unavailable.
UC Riverside discovers first effective treatment for citrus-destroying disease
UC Riverside scientists have found the first substance capable of controlling Citrus Greening Disease, which has devastated citrus farms in Florida and also threatens California. The new treatment effectively kills the bacterium causing the disease with a naturally occurring molecule found in wild citrus relatives. This molecule, an antimicrobial peptide...
Microbiome confers resistance to cholera
Many parts of the world are in the midst of a deadly pandemic of cholera, an extreme form of watery diarrhea. UC Riverside scientists have discovered specific gut bacteria make some people resistant to it — a finding that could save lives.