Saturday, November 25, 2017
Raindrops splash pathogens onto crops.Contrary to popular belief, agricultural crops might be singing, "Rain, rain go away," instead of "Let it rain, let it pour." While the importance of rain for providing water and nutrients to plant life is well-understood, it also contributes to the dispersal of microscopic pathogen particles. Pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, cause harmful plant disease and often lead to the destruction of agricultural fields. With many possible dispersal methods, it can often be difficult to assess the damage of a pathogen's impact before it's too late. Two mechanisms of pathogen dispersal have been discovered. The first is a vortex ring mechanism, where one ring of pathogenic particles propagates and radially disperses after a drop impacts a plant surface. In the other, the pathogens are dispersed by an elastic collision mechanism.