As vaccines are used to prevent human diseases, a CSIRO team has used 'hairpin RNA' to induce immunity in plants against viruses like Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV). BYDV is responsible for production losses of about 15% in barley, 17% in wheat and 25% in oats. Until now, such viruses were considered 'unbeatable'. An additional environmental benefit of this technique is the reduced reliance on pesticides to control the insects which spread the viruses.
Photographer : North Sullivan Photography
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<table style="border:1px solid;padding:2px; width:310px;" ><tr><td><a href="http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/3523/"><img src="http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/images/embed/300_0_CR3143.jpg" width="300" alt="Assessing immunised barley seedlings" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0; border: 0px;"></a><br/><a href="http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/3523/">Assessing immunised barley seedlings</a><br />by CSIRO</td></tr></table>
Assessing immunised barley seedlings