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Food security news

With a rapidly increasing global population set to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 coupled with environmental change, the challenge of feeding the world has never been greater. Making UK farming more resilient and sustainable will improve the UK’s ability to feed itself, while also benefitting the global food system more broadly.

Research into the relationship between bacterial diseases and host plants could lead to improvements in breeding for disease resistance in horticultural crops says research organisation NIAB EMR. Bacterial canker is a disease caused by Pseudomonas syringae, a bacteria that infect the stems, fruits and leaves of plums, cherries and related Prunus species.

Natural use of biology to control disease in crops is the Holy Grail of agriculture, and a team of young researchers has now pinpointed a way of easing cereals’ risks from a deadly root pathogen. In the soils of the world’s cereal fields, a family tussle between related species of fungi is underway for control of the crops’ roots, with food security threatened if the wrong side wins.