The hunt for new antibiotics is essential to combat bacteria that are becoming progressively more antibiotic resistant. It is not just humans that are at risk of bacterial infections though, many plant species are susceptible to bacterial infections, so finding methods to protect them from disease is important.
Scientists from Rutgers University have found a new promising compound with antibacterial properties. The compound, phazolicin, was discovered in the Mexican rainforest in the root nodules of a species of wild bean. Phazolicin is produced by a soil bacterium that has a symbiotic relationship with the bean, keeping harmful bacteria away and fixing nutrients for the plant.
The team believe phazolicin may be a useful probiotic that could be added to soil to help protect plants from harmful bacterial infections. If successful, phazolicin could one day be used to help grow healthier crops of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and soybeans.
Source: Science Alert
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