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.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Tuta absoluta, a new invasive invading India

Tuta absoluta (tomato leafminer); adult at rest ©Marja van der Straten Organization/NVWA Plant Protection Service/Bugwood - CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Tuta absoluta (tomato leafminer); adult at rest ©Marja van der Straten Organization/NVWA Plant Protection Service/Bugwood – CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Tuta absoluta (commonly known as tomato leaf miner) is a devastating pest of tomato which originated from South America. It can breed between 10-12 generations a year and each female can lay upto 250-300 eggs in her life time.  This pest has been very quickly crossing borders and devastating tomato production in both protected and open fields. The infestation of this pest is also reported on other solanaceous crops like potato, aubergine and common beans. The pest has spread from South America to several parts of Europe, entire Africa and has now spread to India. This pest is observed for the first time infesting tomato crop in Maharashtra, India reported by Indian Council of Agricultural Research. It has a potential to cause up to 90% loss of yield and fruit quality under greenhouse and field conditions. Plants are damaged by larval stages by direct feeding on leaves, stems, buds, calyces, young fruit, or ripe fruit and by the invasion of secondary pathogens which enter through the wounds made by the pest. To read more on this click here 

Fore more plantwise resources on Tuta absoluta click here

External links for more information

Plantwise linking policy to practice

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland

Quarantine, then and now

quarantine 1 During the 1400s, it is estimated that one third of Europe’s population died of the plague. In order to slow its spread, some cities adopted radical measures. For example, the Viscount of Reggio, Italy, decreed that anyone sick with the plague should be moved to fields outside the city to either recover or die. The word “quarantine” derives from the Italian word “quarantino”, referring to the 40 day isolation period that ships coming from plague areas had to undergo before entering the Mediterranean port of Ragusa[1].

While the movement of goods and people remains a pathway for the spread of pests and diseases, modern frameworks such as the International Plant Protection Convention have been established in order to promote international cooperation to prevent the spread of pests which cause crop losses and do harm to natural ecosystems. Member countries work together, for example, by identifying potential means for pests to move to new areas (such sea containers or internet sales), and then the member countries agree on approaches to address these issues. For example, International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) have been adopted which provide guidance on surveillance, pest eradication and the establishment of pest free areas.

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Myanmar newspaper covers plant clinic opening

Ag myanmar

Click here to download: Agr Dep opens plant clinic in Myanmar-The Global New Light of Myanmar

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.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!

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TOMORROW: CABI joins line-up at The Economist FTW 2015

FTWHow do we feed 9 billion people by 2050? And why aren’t we feeding 7 billion people in 2015? These are the headline questions to be delved into at The Economist’s Feeding the World annual event, this time hosted in the Netherlands and welcoming industry experts from policy, research, corporate and non-government organizations centred around food security. CABI’s Dr Arne Witt will join a panel discussion on strategies for the reduction of food loss and food waste, pre- and post- harvest.

Read the full story on CABI.org and follow the event on twitter @economist_ftw and @cabi_news throughout the day #feedthefuture #Plantwise

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