CIAT scientists publish second peer-reviewed video

11 April, 2013 by (comments)

CIAT has just published its latest peer-reviewed video in The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

The team, led by entomologist Soroush Parsa, filmed a protocol for evaluating whether friendly fungi can be introduced into plants to boost their resistance to pest attacks.

The work is part of a proof-of-concept project funded by a Grand challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 4.19.20 PM

Focusing on beans and cassava, the project aims to establish whether the Beauveria bassiana fungi – commonly found in commercially-available bio-pesticides – can be introduced to live harmlessly within the crops, while simultaneously boosting their resistance to attacks from the cassava mealybug and the bean weevil – two devastating pests of global importance.

If successful, the approach known as endophytic biological control, could represent a low-cost, eco-efficient strategy for protecting crops in farmers’ fields, substantially reducing reliance on chemical pesticides.

This is the second peer-reviewed video produced by CGIAR scientists and published in JoVE. In June 2011, a team of CIAT entomologists – also led by Parsa – produced a video protocol for characterizing herbivore resistance mechanisms, focusing on the spittlebug and its taste for the forage grass brachiaria.

So far this video has received nearly 17,000 hits worldwide.

“By publishing these protocols as videos, and making them free to access and easy to follow for scientists everywhere, we’re ensuring the technology has as wide an application as possible,” said Parsa. “They’re not just of interest to entomologists working on beans and cassava; they can be used to develop similar techniques for boosting the productivity of other vital food security crops.

“We wanted the protocol to be very detailed and easy to follow, this is why the video is 20 minutes long – this was an enormous amount of work for the team. But the end result is a thorough, accurate, independently verified protocol that scientists anywhere can follow step-by-step.”

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Filed Under: Beans @en, Cassava @en, Crops @en, Crops website