Soybean rust study will allow breeders to tailor resistant varieties to local pathogens

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Midwestern growers don’t worry much about soybean rustThe fungal disease has been popping up at the end of the growing season nearly every year since 2006, but because the fungus can’t survive winter without a host plant, it’s not much of a threat to Midwest crops under current conditions.Right now, the disease only impacts U.S. soybean growers in the frost-free south, and only over-winters in parts of the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean basin.“But if the frost-free zone were to expand northward sometime in the future, there would be a greater potential for soybean rust to impact Midwestern growers,” said Glen Hartman, plant pathologist in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and crop pathologist for USDA-ARS.Even though the major soybean-producing region in the United States is currently safe, Hartman and his collaborators aren’t willing to let the ball drop on soybean rust.“We’d like to stay ahead of the game by knowing more about the pathogen and whether strains of the fungus can overcome soybean rust resistance genes,” he said.The disease is also active and spreading in many other parts of the world. In Africa and other continents, soybean losses of up to 80% have been reported due to this disease. “People talk about walking through soybean fields and stirring up clouds of spores,” Hartman said.The team verified soybean rust first in Ghana, then Malawi and Tanzania, and most recently Ethiopia in 2016. Hartman notes that fungicides can be effective, but the chemical strategy comes with several pitfalls.“Spraying fungicides over millions and millions of acres does not always provide effective control and certainly is not environmentally appealing,” he said.The problem wouldn’t be solved with a single treatment, either. In Brazil, where losses up to 75% have been reported, producers often spray two or three times every growing season. Finally, the pathogen can develop resistance to fungicides, making them less effective.Hartman believes the way forward is finding rust-resistant soybean varieties. In a recent study, he and several international collaborators tested the ability of 10 such varieties to stand up against rust strains from around the world. None of the soybean varieties were able to resist all of the rust strains that were tested, but a few showed promise.“Soybean genotypes carrying Rpp1b, Rpp2, Rpp3, and Rpp5a resistance genes, and cultivars Hyuuga and UG5 (carrying more than one resistance gene), were observed to be resistant against most of the African rust strains, and therefore may be useful for soybean-breeding programs in Africa and elsewhere,” Hartman said.On the flip side, the researchers also evaluated which rust strains were the most destructive. It turned out that strains from Argentina were the most virulent. One of them was able to cause full-blown disease symptoms — tan spore-producing lesions on the leaves — on eight soybean lines, including two with multiple resistance genes.The study’s major conclusion is that it won’t be as simple as choosing one soybean variety with resistance and rolling it out for commercial use around the world. Instead, it will take a more tailored approach, pushing out the varieties whose specific type of resistance offers the best chance of maintaining effective resistance to local rust strains.The article, “Virulence diversity of Phakopsora pachyrhizi isolates from East Africa compared to a geographically diverse collection,” is published in Plant Disease. First author H. Murithi is from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Tanzania. Co-authors include J. Haudenshield, F. Beed, G. Mahuku, M. Joosten, and Hartman. The research was supported by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.last_img

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Lloyds shares have fallen 25% in a month. Is this a buying opportunity?

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Edward Sheldon, CFA Lloyds shares have fallen 25% in a month. Is this a buying opportunity? Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images. center_img Edward Sheldon owns shares in Lloyds Bank. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Lloyds Banking Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. In recent weeks, Lloyds Bank (LSE: LLOY) shares have plummeted due to the economic uncertainty associated with the coronavirus outbreak. In the space of just a month, Lloyds’ share price has fallen from around 57p to 43p, a decline of about 25%.After such a significant share price fall, many investors are likely to be wondering whether Lloyds shares are now a bargain. With that in mind, here’s my take on the investment case for Lloyds.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Rising dividendsLet me start by saying that Lloyds is a stock I’ve been relatively bullish on over the last few years. The bank has come a long way since the dark days of the Global Financial Crisis and profits have been on the rise. Dividends have also been on the up, and the yield on offer from the FTSE stock has often been very attractive. While recent full-year results for FY2019 were a little disappointing (mainly due to the significant cost of PPI charges), with earnings per share dropping from 5.5p to 3.5p, the bank still raised its dividend by 5% to 3.37p per share. That marked five consecutive dividend increases since the bank reinstated its dividend in FY2014 – a decent achievement. The group said that it “faces the future with confidence”, and that it remains well placed to “deliver strong and sustainable returns for shareholders” going forward.It’s worth noting that City analysts currently expect earnings per share of 6.82p this year, along with a dividend payout of 3.5p per share (a yield of around 8% at the current share price), which would represent a 4% increase in the dividend.Coronavirus impactThe problem now, however, is that the implications of the coronavirus outbreak add a high level of uncertainty to the investment case.As a UK-focused bank, Lloyds is highly exposed to the fortunes of the UK economy, which in turn, is exposed to global activity. If the coronavirus results in a severe economic contraction, which it may well do, Lloyds profits are likely to take a further hit. This could impact the bank’s ability to grow its dividend and result in a further share price fall. This is a risk that shouldn’t be ignored. Many experts now believe that UK economic growth is likely to stall in the near term. For example, last week, analysts at Deutsche Bank halved their UK growth forecast for this year to just 0.5%, a post-Global Financial Crisis low, because of the outbreak.Lower interest rates (the Bank of England has today slashed its base rate from 0.75% to 0.25%) are another problem for Lloyds. This is due to the fact that rate cuts reduce banks’ net interest spread – the difference between borrowing and lending rates. Again, this is likely to impact Lloyds’ profits and potentially its dividends.Overall, the investment case for Lloyds now looks far riskier.Speculative buyThat said, the stock does now look cheap. Assuming zero earnings growth this year, the P/E ratio is 12.4. And if we plug in the consensus earnings forecast of 6.8p, the P/E ratio is just 6.4. All things considered, I see Lloyds as a more speculative buy right now. There are risks to the investment case, however, if you’re willing to hold the stock for a few years, I think there’s a chance you could be rewarded, given the stock’s low valuation. Edward Sheldon, CFA | Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 | More on: LLOY last_img

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