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Old January 6, 2017   #1
Dutch
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Default 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."
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Old January 6, 2017   #2
Jimbotomateo
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Interesting read Dutch . Maybe someone will fill in the blanks.
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Old January 7, 2017   #3
KarenO
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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.
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Old January 7, 2017   #4
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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.
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Old January 13, 2017   #5
carolyn137
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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.

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Old January 13, 2017   #6
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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)."
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Old January 15, 2017   #7
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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.
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Old January 18, 2017   #8
BettaPonic
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This is very interesting, wish it was sold.
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Old January 19, 2017   #9
BigVanVader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
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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