NIMBioS: Mathematical Biology Tackles Destructive Plant Virus

Plant diseases pose a serious threat to global food security, especially in developing countries, where millions of people depend on consuming what they harvest.

In sub-Saharan Africa, one plant disease in particular – maize lethal necrosis – is ravaging one of the region’s preferred crops for food, feed and income. But understanding its biology in order to manage the disease is difficult because the disease arises from two viruses interacting – which is where mathematics comes into play.

A team of researchers at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), based at UT, has used mathematical modeling to better understand the dynamics of the disease and how to manage it. Their research results, published this month in a study in the journal Phytopathology, could not only help improve our understanding of maize lethal necrosis but could also help inform the management and control of other destructive plant diseases caused by combinations of pathogens.

Continue reading on the NIMBioS website.