Nature's fungal fighters

Australian native plants are a promising source of compounds able to repel or kill fungi that attack grain and fruit crops.

Scientists from the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology have identified at least 20 sources of such compounds, which they believe are harmless to humans or animals. The compounds have future potential either as mass-produced 'biofungicides' to replace chemical sprays, or as protective genes transferred into the plants themselves.

The scientists hope their discoveries will help reduce the use of fungicides, potentially harmful to humans, used by some agricultural and horticultural industries.

Program 2.2.1 Contact: Dr John Manners 07 3365 1904