Media report on UMaine research about lobster shells fighting soil pathogens that impact potatoes
The Bangor Daily News, News Center Maine, MaineBiz, CentralMaine.com, Lincoln County News, Morning Ag Clips, WMAZ-TV (Channel 13 in Macon, Georgia) Spud Smart, Potato Pro, Potato News Today and Potato Grower reported that researchers at the University of Maine are currently exploring whether lobster shells can be used to combat soil pathogens like early dying syndrome in potato fields. The fungus responsible for the disease is present in Maine soils and can wipe out half an annual crop. Katie Ashley, a plant science doctoral student at UMaine, is working under the hypothesis that the correct concentration of the compound chitin can prevent these fungal diseases. About 75 percent of a lobster’s shell contains chitin, one of the most abundant polysaccharides in nature, second only to cellulose.