Update: Plant Health News (25 Feb 15)

Uganda are considering use of GM bananas resistant to Xanthomonas wilt © Pascale Lepoint / Bioversity International

Uganda are considering use of GM bananas resistant to Xanthomonas wilt © Pascale Lepoint / Bioversity International

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the Giant African land snails invading Cuba, the debate over GM bananas in Uganda and a new report from the World Food Programme on connecting farmers to markets.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (18 Feb 15)

Xylella fastidiosa has been isolated from grapes in Iran © ENSA-Montpellier Archive, Ecole nationale supérieure agronomique de Montpellier (CC BY-NC)

Symptoms of X. fastidiosa on grape © ENSA-Montpellier (CC BY-NC)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of passiflora root-rot of passion fruit caused by two species of Globisporangium in Japan, a study into grey mold and sclerotinia rot of okra plants and the isolation and pathogenicity of Xylella fastidiosa from grapevine and almond in Iran. 

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Update: Plant Health News (11 Feb 15)

Maize plants infested by Striga © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Maize plants infested by Striga © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including Striga resistant maize yielding well in Kenya, scientists in the UK  finding a potential way to control leaf blotch disease in wheat and a grant under the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) to help small scale rice producers by creating better linkages in the rice value chain.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (04 Feb 15)

Rice grasshopper has been spotted on lentil in Madhya Pradesh, India © NBAIR

Rice grasshopper has been spotted on lentil in Madhya Pradesh, India © NBAIR

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of stubby root nematode, Paratrichodorus teres from Iran, a new occurrence of rice grasshopper on lentil in Vindhyan plateau of Madhya Pradesh and corm and root rot of Colocasia esculenta caused by Ovatisporangium vexans and Rhizoctonia solani.

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Factsheet of the month: February 2015 – Sugarcane Woolly Aphids

sugarcane woolly aphid factsheet

India is one of the world’s largest producers of sugarcane which is used in many food and drink products. Sugarcane is vulnerable to a variety of pests, including sugarcane woolly aphids which caused a 30% yield loss in the outbreak of 2002. This pest is constrained to south and east Asia, (see the Plantwise distribution map).  The aphids are covered in a woolly coating and are often mistaken for mealybugs. They deposit honeydew on the leaves which allows sooty mould to develop. This interrupts the plant’s ability to photosynthesise and so results in a weaker plant with a reduced yield.

To find out more about sugarcane woolly aphids and their management, read this month’s Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers which was written by a senior scientist from M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in India. This factsheet is also available in Tamil. 

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Update: Plant Health News (28 Jan 15)

Ants seen on an Indonesian cocoa pod © Sanjit Das/CABI

Ants seen on an Indonesian cocoa pod © Sanjit Das/CABI

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including native ants helping to improve cocoa yields in Indonesia, unseasonal rains affecting crops in India and local mangoes in the Philippines declared free from mango seed weevil.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Jan 15)

Anthracnose of Capsicum  © AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center

Anthracnose of Capsicum © AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of Turnip mosaic virus on garden nasturtium in Brazil, the occurrence of anthracnose on coloured capsicum under protected conditions and downy mildew of fenugreek in Iran caused by Peronospora trigonellae.

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