SCOTTISH scientists have tested a new way to protect crops from disease by making the plants manufacture antibiotics.

They hope it can replace conventional antibiotics, removing a driver of antibiotic resistance that could spread to human diseases.

The team at Glasgow University genetically engineered plants to fight off bacterial infection on their own by producing a targeted protein antibiotic, or bacteriocin.

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This was effective against the common crop bacteria Pseudomonas syringae (Ps), which causes diseases including blight and spot. The work, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Wellcome, was published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.