Engineering Protection for Plants

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Science  16 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5511, pp. 2070
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5511.2070

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Researchers are trying to use antimicrobial peptides originally found in insects and other animals (see main text) to boost plants' ability to resist infectious bacteria and fungi. Current targets include the potato blight fungus, which caused the great Irish famine of the mid-1800s, and the bacterium that causes soft rot in stored potatoes.