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-   -   Using Microbes to Lower the Freezing Point in Tomatoes (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=43499)

Dutch January 6, 2017 12:35 PM

Using Microbes to Lower the Freezing Point in Tomatoes
 
The article I am making reference to is from the Chicago Tribune dated January of 1991. My hope is that some folks here at Tomatoville can help fill some blanks and provide some current information. The article states, “Rather than cells engineered in the laboratory, the new Frostban consists solely of natural bacteria.” Hence I see no need for a debate about GMOs or gene engineering.
Frost Fight Re-enlisting Bacteria
A couple of things I found quite interesting in this article were;
“Although Frostban has prevented frost from forming on tomatoes at temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours, its target range is 25 degrees and higher.”
"The microbes that make up Frostban are Pseudomonas Syringae, bacteria that live on garden plants. Though common, the specialized Pseudomonas are usually outnumbered by other bacteria, which contain a chemical structure that serves as the nucleus for ice crystals. Frostban introduces the Pseudomonas in quantities large enough to displace other bacteria, lowering the temperature at which frost will form."
Dutch

Jimbotomateo January 6, 2017 11:51 PM

Interesting read Dutch . Maybe someone will fill in the blanks.

KarenO January 7, 2017 01:18 AM

Pseudomonas syringea is Pathogenic and harmful to many species of woody plants. whether natural or genetically engineered is irrelevant. It Makes sense that they put a stop to spraying it into the environment what, close to a quarter century ago? I understand it never made it through testing and was never marketed.
Bizarre idea for a couple degrees of questionable frost protection.
KarenO

PhilaGardener January 7, 2017 07:51 AM

The basic idea was to develop a surface treatment that suppressed the formation of frost/ice crystals.

By altering bacterial communities that grow normally on plant surfaces, it is possible to provide modest freezing protection. Some varieties of bacteria promote ice crystal formation and others suppress it. However, public controversy about GMO varieties (IceMinus) as well as natural strains (Frostban) of Pseudomonas syringae resulted in the abandonment of this approach.

Given agricultural losses that happen in snap freezes (think orchards) even modest protection could save farms and food.

We are just beginning to appreciate the diversity and functions of microbes in and on our own bodies apart from causing disease. Evidence is emerging that they affect our development, our health, and our psychological state. Similarly, a better understanding of the microbial communities in and on plants (both above ground as well as in the soil) has great potential. Many of the most stringent organic gardeners use BT (Bacillus thuringensis) bacteria to protect their crops and inoculate their legumes with nitrogen fixing bacteria, so one might be optimistic that advances in this area can be effective, safe and acceptable.

carolyn137 January 13, 2017 07:19 PM

I think some of you should know that ice nucleation is nothing new at all

https://www.google.com/search?q=ice+..._AUIBygA&dpr=1

Lloyd Kozloff was the Chairman of the Dept of Microbiology in Denver when I was there and the work continued when he moved to CA where he was Dean of the graduate school at
San Francisco.

Look at the dates to see what I mean and certain bacteriophage could do the same thing, not infectious for humans.

Carolyn

PhilaGardener January 13, 2017 10:07 PM

Glad your Internet is back up and running, Carolyn!

Kaolin sprays, like Surround, also have potential in preventing ice crystal damage and are acceptable to a wide variety of growers.

https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2000/nov/white/

"In his (ARS' Michael E. Wisniewski, a plant physiologist at Kearneysville) tests in environmental chambers, kaolin-treated tomato and bean plants have withstood temperatures as low as 21°F (-6°C). They normally die when the thermometer drops to 28°F (-2°C)."

bower January 15, 2017 06:28 PM

Another natural substance that can be sprayed for frost protection is glycine betaine.

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...lycine_betaine

Natural sources which are rich in glycine betaine include seaweeds and beets.

BettaPonic January 18, 2017 09:05 PM

This is very interesting, wish it was sold.

BigVanVader January 19, 2017 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilaGardener (Post 610704)
Glad your Internet is back up and running, Carolyn!

Kaolin sprays, like Surround, also have potential in preventing ice crystal damage and are acceptable to a wide variety of growers.

https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2000/nov/white/

"In his (ARS' Michael E. Wisniewski, a plant physiologist at Kearneysville) tests in environmental chambers, kaolin-treated tomato and bean plants have withstood temperatures as low as 21°F (-6°C). They normally die when the thermometer drops to 28°F (-2°C)."

I used Surround last year and was impressed. I plan to use it more regularly and heavy this year. In a greenhouse it is a silver bullet to protect against temp extremes and seemed to help keep everything off the plants. Even disease spores.


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