Japanese target rice blast with mycovirus
Japanese researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have discovered a “unique” mycovirus that reduces the effects of the fungal pathogen, rice blast ( Magnaporthe oryzae), reports Japan Chemical Week. The mycovirus also acts against Alternaria alternata f.sp . lycopersici. Researchers have obtained patent rights and intend to continue their research, with the aim of early commercialisation of the mycovirus as an “effective fungicide”, in partnership with the private sector. The mycovirus is more easily transmissible than previously discovered mycoviruses, the researchers say. It can be applied to rice plants at an early stage of growth, thereby providing effective control. Conventional fungicides for rice blast must be applied to mature plants, they point out.