CULTIVARS IMMUNITY TO PHYTOPATHOGENS AS A FACTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY: THE CASES OF POTATO AND SUGAR CANE

В.А. Колобаев, Е.В. Рогозина

Abstract


Agricultural plants significantly contribute by photosynthesis to O2/CO2 balance in Earth atmosphere. Epiphytotic infections the affect leafs can suppress their photosynthetic activity. Chemical anti-epiphytotic means produce adverse environmental effects. The ability of agricultural plants to ameliorate their environment can by maintained only by cultivating varieties that are immune to phytopathogens. Two crops of world-wide importance, potato and sugar cane, are considered to exemplify the history of and current advances in plant protection against phytopathogens. In mid-XXI century, late blight almost exterminated potato in Europe and caused serious social turmoils. At present, about 10–12 sessions of treating potato fields with fungicides are practiced. At the same time, interspecies hybridization of potato cultivars with wild Solanum species makes it possible to breed potato varieties where immunity to phytopathogens is provided by genes having different origins. The most dangerous to sugar cane plantations are viral variegation of sugar cane, mildew, and smut. Saving Cuban economy, which is heavily dependent on sugar export, was possible only by introducing sugar cane cultivars immune to these diseases. Introgression of genes from wild Saccharum species (S. spontaneum and S. barberi) provided for breeding of hybrid cultivars immune to variegation. Feeding the humanity with destroying the biosphere is possible only by turning to agriculture based on plant varieties and cultivars that are immune to plant infections.

Keywords


atmosphere, photosynthesis, potato, sugar cane, plant infections, plant immunity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24855/biosfera.v6i3.219

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