Six genes responsible for the production of plant antibiotics that create critical disease resistance in maize have been identified.
This is in a bid to boost food security at a time when pests and diseases as well as erratic weather conditions continue to devastate masses.
Researchers at University of California San Diego identified genes in maize with antibiotic qualities which can be used to defend crops against numerous disease-causing agents.
“We need to know which crop defence mechanisms are effective and what we can do sustain or further improve them,” said Eric Schmelz, a researcher. Maize is a staple crop in Kenya, but diseases affect yields.