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Newly developed ‘Trojan horse’ molecule might help in fighting crop fungus linked to cancer

A few weeks ago, researchers from the University of Arizona said that they were able to develop a new method to neutralize a dangerous toxin caused by fungi, that can lead to childhood stunting, cancer, and other health problems. These researchers made a genetically modified, edible maize plant, even when infected with a mould that produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. ROME – Scientists said on Friday they had developed a new method to neutralize a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood

 

Every year, more than 16,000 tons of maize are being thrown because of aflatoxin contamination. In most developed countries, they are able to screen their crops. However, some small farmers do not have the technology to do so. Therefore, people are consuming unknown levels of these dangerous toxins.

This latest research found out that a Trojan Horse molecule can jump onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.

In a study published in the journal Science Advances, Schmidt and her team said they had created a genetically engineered maize plant, which produces a “Trojan horse” molecule that jumps onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.

Schmidt said the method should be transferable to other crops prone to aflatoxin contamination, like rice, soy and peanuts, as it exploits a naturally occurring biological mechanism known as RNA interference.

For more information, visit this site.

Though the modified corns shouldn’t have side effects, it’s still important to get some testings done.

Univesity of California Researchers Sequence Arabica Coffee Genome

Recently, an international team of University of California researchers has publicly released the first public genome sequence of Arabica coffee.

The genome was sequenced from a remarkable variety called Geisha.

“The variety Geisha originates from the mountains of the western Ethiopian provinces of Maji and Goldija, near the town of Geisha, and is a selection known for its unique aromatic qualities,” the researchers explained.

“The new genome sequence for Coffea arabica contains information crucial for developing high-quality, disease-resistant coffee varieties that can adapt to the climate changes that are expected to threaten global coffee production in the next three decades,” explained co-author Dr. Juan Medrano, from the University of California, Davis.

“We hope that the Coffea arabica sequence will eventually benefit everyone involved with coffee — from coffee farmers, whose livelihoods are threatened by devastating diseases like coffee leaf rust, to coffee processors and consumers around the world.”

Know more about it here.

Coffee Rust Puts Thousands Out of Work

Bionovelus_Blight_Rev1

The coffee rust epidemic problem has reached a lot of countries in Africa, Asia, and in Southern and Central America. Coffee plantations failed to produce as much crops as they need for commercial growth. Thus, thousands of workers were laid off because of this epidemic disease.

The effects of the 2002 – 2003 Coffee Rust Outbreak are:

El Salvador

  • 13,444 jobs lost
  • 132 lb coffee losses with $74.2 M value

Guatamela

  • 75,000 jobs lost
  • 132 lb coffee losses with $101 M value

Costa Rica

  • 14,000 jobs lost
  • 132 lb coffee losses with $14 M value

Nicaragua

  • 32,000 jobs lost
  • 132 lb coffee losses with $60 M value

Honduras

  • 100,000 jobs lost
  • 132 lb coffee losses with $230 M value

 

 

 

How To Eliminate the Devastating Effects of the Coffee Leaf Rust Epidemic

The devastating effects of the coffee leaf rust epidemic have reached different countries all over Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Aside from thousands of people losing their jobs, coffee plantations end up losing millions of dollars.

Eliminating the harmful effects of this disease is not impossible. However, it is challenging. Recently, we released CR-10, which is a coffee rust control fungicide. a coffee rust treament… or even better: a coffee rust solution!   The active ingredientl is designed to attack the fungi and get rid of the harmful effects of the rust to the coffee leaves.

  1. The CR-10 works faster compared to other fungicides

Eliminating coffee rust is our main goal. We want to help in saving the coffee plantations and somehow improving the commercial coffee economic status of the affected countries. Upon application, farmers can already see the effect of CR-10 on coffee rust after 48 hours.

  1. The CR-10 only requires 2 to 3 applications

This fungicide works faster and better. Therefore, it only takes 2 to 3 applications to work. According to our own research, farmers had to do 4 to 12 applications using other products. With the CR-10, you can save money on labor and get better results faster than other fungicides.

  1. The CR-10 is 100% Safe.

We always do our best to create products that are safe not only for us people but also to animals and to our environment. The CR-10 is 100% safe. It is biodegradable and non-toxic (when used at recommended dilution).

We made sure that our product is people friendly and environment-friendly as well. You have to make sure that you will use it at the level of dilution we recommend.

Guatemalan Coffee Growers Still Suffer from La Roya

Guatemala is one of the countries in Central America affected by the coffee rust disease. In fact, the country declared coffee rust a national emergency in 2013. The coffee production was massively decreased from 2,500,000 lbs of coffee in 2012 to 1,000,000 lbs by the end of 2013.

The coffee rust epidemic has been a major issue not only in Guatemala but in all affected countries. Millions of farmers already lost their jobs and spent a lot of money in pesticides hoping to minimize the effects of the disease.

Guatemalan based organizations like the Coffee Trust are working with small-scale farmers to improve their livelihood. They also need help in establishing food sovereignty in the region that has been solely dependent upon coffee, their cash crop.

Recently, $onov CEO Jean Ekobo visited Guatemala to have a meeting with the chemical distributors in the country and to let them know about CR-10 and what it can do to help eliminating coffee rust.

He shared his experience in Guatemala in our Twitter account. See his images below:

How Coffee Rust Affects The Coffee Industry Worldwide

The coffee rust epidemic has reached a lot of countries all over the world and has been a major problem and threat to coffee plantations all over the world. The rust organism mainly attacks the leaves (though in some rare instances the rust was found on fruits and young stems.). The coffee rust is usually manifested by chlorotic young lessions or pale yellow spots before the sporulation is evident. The sports vary in shapes and sizes.

This epidemic was first recorded in 1861. A British explorer discovered the development of coffee leaf rust in the Lake Victoria region in Kenya. In 1869, the cultivated coffee industry in Sri Lanka was attacked by this virus and their coffee industry suffered for 10 long years.

In 1920, the spread of the coffee leaf rust has reached most African and Asian countries during the sprout of their commercial grown coffee.

The epidemic in Brazil started in 1972. Soon, it affected the countries in Southern and Central America.

The Effects of Coffee Rust to Coffee Plantations

  • The amount of rust in the current year highly affects the reduced size of vegetative growth and berry growth.
  • Coffee rust is associated with defoliation. The strong sink of the berries’ carbohydrate can cause shoots and roots to starve and die. With that being said, the number of nodes on which coffee will be produced next year will be reduced.
  • The production of coffee for the following year is produced this season. Thus, the top and shoot dieback caused by the coffee rust will seriously reduce the following season’s crop.
  • A research conducted by Kushalappa and Eskes in 1989 estimates the total losses caused by leaf rust is between 30 to 80%.
  • The total average losses per year is believed to be about 15%.

 

Report shows that climate change could cut coffee production by 50 percent in 2050

With more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee being consumed on a daily basis, there’s no doubt that the coffee industry is at its finest. In fact, the industry is worth 19 Billion dollars worldwide.

However, a recent study called A Brewing Storm showed that the coffee production could drop by 50 percent in a few decades if we don’t take the necessary actions. The study shows that climate change would result to supply shortage and thus, price increase.

“We’re fearful that by 2050, we might see as much as a 50 per cent decline in productivity and production of coffee around the world, which is not so good,” said Molly Harriss Olson, the chief executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, which commissioned the report.

Read more about it here.

The coffee industry has to be prepared for the possibilities of losing half of its potential in the coming years. Though we can’t really control the climate change, they need to figure out a way to continue meeting the demand.

New Coffee Rust Attack in Costa Rica – ICafé Report (08/2016) to All the Costa Rican Coffee Growers

Icafé, and its Research department “Cicafé”, just published their brand new report on coffee rust, in August 2016.

Since the media are very quiet about coffee rust these days, we thought we would publish the National Coffee Association’s information.

The document is in Spanish. We will translate it, yet wanted to post it as soon as we received it.
Click on the link or on the picture to open the document.

 

Sistema de Alerta y Recomendación temprana para el combate de la Roya Cicafe

 

CicafeReport0816
Coffee Rust Report from Cicafé, the Research Department of Icafé, Costa Rica.

Distribution of Coffee Rust (Infographics)

world_countries_coffee rust

Coffee is the most important agricultural product in agricultural trade. There are different types of coffee plant diseases, but by far, coffee rust is the most economically important int the world. It was the main reason why countries like El Salvador lost 50% of their job opportunities in the coffee sector in 2011.

In Central America, 70% of its total coffee fields was affected by coffee rust. This led to devastating results like reduced yields, massive economic damage, loss of about 500,000 coffee-related jobs, and about $1 billion in revenue.

Coffee Rust Timeline:

1861 – The signs of coffee rust was seen in Ethiopia, the origin of coffea Arabica. By then, they didn’t know about the disease yet and didn’t have a name for it.

1867 – Coffee rust was seen in Sri Lanka.

1888 – The epidemic started in neighboring Asian countries like Brunei and Malaysia.

1892 – The disease reached Papua New Guinea.

1904 – 1906 – Coffee rust fungi also reached Madagascar and spread the outbreak on its coffee fields.

1910 – The outbreak reached Congo Republic, Angola, Zambia, and other neighboring countries.

1913 – It reached the African continent.

1945 – The disease went back to Asia and affected India, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

1951 – 66 – The devastating results of the coffee rust disease were suffered by the rest of the African continent.

1972 – The first appearance of the coffee rust disease was recorded in Brazil.

1976 – It affected other European countries like Honduras, Guatamela, Ecuador, and Colombia. These countries aren’t that big, but coffee is one of their main products.

1978 -83 – The disease reached Peru.

1979 -81 – The coffee rust disease affected the coffee plants in Mexico.

The spread of this fungal disease didn’t stop there. In 2011, the prices of coffea Arabica dropped massively because of the disease.

 

Coffee Rust Impact & Solutions by Anacafé, Coffee Trade Association from Guatemala

Interesting point of View on…

coffee rust solutions, coffee rust treatments, in Guatemala where coffee growers saw their productions decrease by 40% since 2012.

The 2016 reality is that people are still researching to find new coffee rust treatments, because the solutions found so far are not effective enough.
Planting GMO rust-resistant trees has been shown to be very expensive ($1 per tree, and NO PRODUCTION for three to four years), the flavor of the specialty coffee seems to be hard to maintain with a half-Robusta/half-Arabica tree, and very often Specialty coffee growers would rather keep their old varieties and find a treatment for the coffee trees that allows them to KEEP the trees… That’s where CR-10 may be a great organic coffee rust control solution.