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Avoiding virus dangers in 'domesticating' wild plants for biofuel use
Date:2/15/2013

ast 15 years, disease ecology has really come to the fore as a basic science.

Most of what is known about plant viruses comes from studies of crops. To understand the complete ecology of viruses, researchers are now studying these tiny organisms in nature, too. "The mysteries of how plant viruses can play a role in ecosystem properties and processes in natural ecosystems are emerging more slowly," Malmstrom said.

Malmstrom said it's important to catch-up in our understanding of viral ecology, as there are any number of societal issues that need to be addressed in this area.

"Society wants us to be able to answer questions such as whether viruses can be used in agricultural terrorism, how to recognize a novel virus, and what happens if a virus is genetically modified and then let loose?"


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Contact: Tom Oswald
tom.oswald@cabs.msu.edu
517-432-0920
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

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