UNAM scientists create fertilizer to protect tomato crops

Researchers found that endophytic fungi can help to give plants a defense mechanism for external plagues

UNAM scientists create fertilizer to protect tomato crops
Farmer taking care of a tomato plant – Photo: Luis Enrique Granados/EFE
English 10/07/2019 17:40 Teresa Moreno Mexico City Actualizada 17:40
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To inhibit the growth of weeds, scientists of the Institute of Chemistry (IQ) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) developed a natural fertilizer from fungi existing inside the plants that attack the plagues that invade the crops of tomato.

The researches, lead by Lydia Macías Rubalcava, already have compounds to impede the development of Fusarium oxysporum, that attacks tomatoes.

Endophytic fungi are microorganisms that live in the internal tissues of plants without causing symptoms of disease and are part of their defense mechanism.

“Some [fungi] have the ability to proportionate defense mechanisms to the plant through secondary metabolites with antimicrobial properties. That lead us to look for compounds with biological activity, produced by endophytic fungi and effective for agriculture,” Macías Rubalcava said.

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