Summerland Researchers Have Breakthrough with Bacteria
Researchers at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland have discovered a way to control a bacterial disease.
Fire blight is a problem pear and apple farmers have to deal with each season.
Julie Boule, an agricultural researcher at PARC says fire blight can be a major problem if not found right away.
"You want to make sure you don't take any wood out of the orchards. You also want to make sure you don't go into a different orchard because it can be spread with whatever you are carrying with you or insects."
Boule says while they know how to control the disease it is not ready to be used by farmers yet.
She adds that like any disease there are different strains of fire blight, but they hope to find a way to control all types of the bacteria.
"We've identified that it is like a virus, it's called a bacteriophage and it will attack the bacteria. It will attack the bacterial pathogen and will kill it."
Boule says the so called bacteria eaters will prevent the growth of the fire blight by up to 50 per cent.
Researchers hope to release the concept to farmers in the coming years.
Anita Sthankiya -Penticton