Facing down a future with no bananas.
Every single Cavendish banana plant worldwide is genetically identical. This vast monoculture sets them up for disastrous disease outbreaks. But researchers have ideas on how to protect the crop.
Our modern crops need some help in the immunity department.
Andy / Andrew Fogg
Modern agriculture is synonymous with monoculture. That lack of diversity is bad news for plants' natural immune defenses. Researchers are figuring out how to help plants fend off microbes – without pesticides.
Cassava feeds 800 million people - keeping it disease-free is a must.
Rapid genetic disease screening will be the key to saving East Africa's crops - just as it was during West Africa's ebola crisis.
Transgenic American chestnuts could soon take root.
Adding a single wheat gene helps the American chestnut withstand a fungal pathogen that nearly wiped these hardwood trees out of the eastern forests they once dominated.
A plant heavily colonized by a bacterial pathogen.
Jeannette Rapicavoli/UC Riverside
Vaccines aren't just for animals anymore. Research shows priming plants with pathogen-derived compounds strengthens their immune systems and enhances protection against future attack.