Update: New Pest & Disease Records (26 Nov 14)

Virus infected yam © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Virus infected yam © IITA (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 first report of Erwinia carotovora causing bacterial pod rot of cocoa in India, a new combination of viruses causing tobacco bushy top disease in Ethiopia and research into yam virus X, a new potexvirus infecting yams (Dioscorea spp.) and evidence for the existence of at least three distinct potexviruses infecting yam. 

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Update: Plant Health News (19 Nov 14)

Ufra disease has broken out in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. The partial emergence and distorted panicles are due to nematode infection.

Ufra disease has broken out in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. The partial emergence and distorted panicles are due to nematode infection.

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the insect-resistant maize that could increase yields and decrease pesticide use in Mexico, nematodes that are threatening rice in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar and a study into how salt-loving plants could contribute to sustainable global food production.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 Nov 14)

Aonidiella aurantii have been newly recorded in olive trees in Brazil ©  M.A. van den Berg

Aonidiella aurantii have been newly recorded in olive trees in Brazil © M.A. van den Berg

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 identification of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus infecting common bean in Japan, Diaspididae scale insects in olive trees in Brazil and the first report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum‘ on carrot in Africa.

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Update: Plant Health News (06 Nov 14)

Coating tomato fruit with edible gum arabic has been found to enhance their shelf-life © The Ewan (CC BY-SA)

Coating tomato fruit with edible gum arabic has been found to enhance their shelf-life © The Ewan (CC BY-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including analysis of the impacts of biotech crops, the role of salt tolerant plants in food production and 6 inventions that can help to prevent harvest loss.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Mexico eradicates Mediterranean fruit fly

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). ©Daniel Feliciano – CC BY-SA 3.0

Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) has declared the country free of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, in a development that is expected to ease trade restrictions and boost the produce industry.

The declaration will positively impact on 1.8 million hectares of growing land for some key agricultural crops – including tomatoes, mangoes and avocados – with an annual production of 17.6 million metric tons (MT). The total value of the affected produce is estimated to be around 86 billion pesos (US$6.4 billion).

SAGARPA said the fruit fly’s eradication was a result of phytosanitary measures that had been in place for 35 years.

Fruit flies are a menacing pest across the world, causing damage to fruits and other agricultural crops with large financial consequences for international trade when export bans are imposed. For example, Pakistani mango imports were at risk of being banned by the EU earlier this year due to fruit fly infestations (http://www.newspakistan.pk/2014/06/23/eu-ban-import-pakistani-mangoes-due-infestation/), and in May this year the EU controversially banned all imports of Indian mangoes due to the discovery of tropical pests in the imported produce (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27238239).

Do you have a problem with fruit flies in your crop? Find out how to manage fruit flies at a local level by reading pest management factsheets on the Plantwise knowledge bank: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/SearchResults.aspx?q=”fruit fly”.

Find out more about the distribution of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, by clicking on the image below. Distribution records in CABI’s products (Plantwise knowledge bank and CPC) will be updated shortly.

Ceratitis capitata global distribution

Global distribution of Ceratitis capitata, compiled by the Plantwise knowledge bank based on published reports in the scientific literature. ©CABI 2014. http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank.

Factsheet of the month: November – Brown planthopper of rice

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Last week, Nature published an article on the story of rice, from a wild grass to the stable crop we know today. Rice is one of the most important crops in the world as it forms the basis of the diet of a large portion of the human population. Due to the high importance of this crop, there is a vast amount of research that goes into ensuring the world’s rice production is as efficient and sustainable as possible.

Like all crops, rice is affected by a range of pests including insects, pathogens, weeds, nematodes and birds. One of the most damaging pests for rice in Asia is the Brown Planthopper (BPH). This pest not only feeds on rice plants, but also transmits grassy stunt virus and ragged stunt virus which cause stunting and reduce productivity. There are chemicals that will control this insect pest but it is important to note that this isn’t always the best method of control, due to the effect on natural enemies that feed on BPH. There are a range of non-chemical options that are effective at preventing and controlling BPH including the use of resistant varieties and avoiding excessive urea application to the field.

To find out more about BPH and its management, read this month’s Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers which was written by staff from Shushilan, an agroecology and rights-based NGO situated in South West Bangladesh. Please note this factsheet is also available in Bengali.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (29 Oct 14)

Turmeric roots

The root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, has been found on turmeric in Pakistan © Melanie Cook (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)

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 new hosts (turmeric and black pepper) of root knot nematode in Pakistan,  two fungal leaf spot pathogens on Indonesian cinnamon, and a species of phytoplasma not previously found on apple trees in China.

Click on the links to view the abstracts:

To view all search results for new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases, click here

If there’s another new record you’d like to highlight, please post a comment.

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