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Wheat Plants "Sneeze" And Spread Disease

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Dodd Yata, humans can spread disease by sneezy, but less well known is the wheat plants ability to do something strangely, similar from its leaves basically analogous to humans me is in terms of you have very fast and sudden expulsion of droplets that contained the disease or pathogen inside of it. And they kind of thrown away from the surface Jonathan burrito. A mechanical engineer at Virginia Tech, he and his team were studying the ability of wheat plants to expel spores of a common pathogen the wheat rest fungus from their leaves via this unusual mechanism. So the inoculated we'd plants with the disease created do on the plants leaves, and then studied the ensuing action with high-speed microscopy. Here's what they saw the leaves are extremely hydrophobic meaning water beads up to minimize contact with the surface and win two or more jobs, touch energy gets released in the form. Of catapulting action, which sneezes the droplets into the air several millimeters above the leaf surface. The droplets can then be picked up by light breezes or simply fall and spread to other plants. The process is surprisingly effective, at launching spores. The researchers figure each leaf can launch a hundred spores per hour during a morning, do the results and photos of the jumping drops are in the journal of the Royal Society interface. Next break oh and his team want to see what happens if they spray stuff on the leaves the changes the way do forms for if we painted a wet ability of the lease, but they're no longer super hydrophobic now to do drop will be unable to jump when they grow. They sort of claim to the leaf surface and not be something anymore. Such treatment could perhaps put a stop to wheat sneezes and slow down the transmission of disease. Thanks for listening for scientific American sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Don yada.