From the Food Nation Radio Interview Archives: Elizabeth Dougherty spoke with Dr. David Gang from Washington State University about an alternative to modifying our beloved citrus crops.
Here’s what he had to say:
From Dr. David Gang’s bio page: Plants produce an amazing diversity of small molecular weight compounds. While the chemical structures of close to 50,000 of them have already been elucidated, the total number of such compounds is probably in the hundreds of thousands to millions. Only a small number of these are part of what have been termed “primary” metabolic pathways; the rest of these molecules are called “secondary” metabolites, also known as specialized metabolites or natural products. The vast majority of these compounds are not found in the standard crop plants of the Western world, nor in standard laboratory model plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago trunculata. These compounds are, however, believed to play vital roles in the physiology of the plants that produce them, particularly as elements of the plants’ defensive arsenals.