Video: See Xanthomonas bacteria infecting a tomato plant

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly happens when a disease infects a plant, watch this video. This detailed animation shows Xanthomonas bacteria infecting a tomato plant, causing bacterial spot disease.

For more information about Xanthomonas in plants, and how to control it, visit the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

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Update: Plant Health News (20 Nov 13)

Maize affected by Aspergillus flavus. a major producer of aflatoxins © Department of Plant Pathology Archive, North Carolina State University (CC BY-NC)

Maize affected by Aspergillus flavus. a major producer of aflatoxins © Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the development of sweet potatoes with multiple virus resistance, the reduction of aflatoxins using biological control and warnings from RAB about Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease.

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

Grapevine red blotch virus © Wendy McFadden-Smith (Queen's Printer for Ontario)

Grapevine red blotch virus © Wendy McFadden-Smith (Queen’s Printer for Ontario)

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 Deladenus cocophilus, an entomoparasitic nematode in infested coconut fruits from Pakistan, an association of a DNA virus with grapevines affected by red blotch disease in California and Bambusananus cuihuashanensis, a new bamboo-feeding leafhopper species of Athysanini from Shaanxi, China.

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Update: Plant Health News (06 Nov 13)

Bangladesh has started harvesting a bumper production from new stress tolerant rice varieties © IRRI (CC BY-NC-SA)

Bangladesh is harvesting a bumper production from stress tolerant rice varieties © IRRI (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a bumper harvest for Bangladesh from stress tolerant rice varieties, news that plant production could decline as climate change affects soil nutrients, and Autralia’s Minister for the Environment launches a new sustainability app for farmers.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (30 Oct 13)

Common ambrosia beetle (Platypus parallelus) © Marc AuMarc (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ambrosia beetle (Platypus parallelus) © Marc AuMarc (CC BY-NC-ND)

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 Zucchini yellow mosaic virus infecting Gherkin (Cucumis anguira) in India, the invasive neotropical ambrosia beetle Platypus parallelus in the Oriental region and its pest status, and non-host facilitators, a new category that unexpectedly favours parasitic weeds.

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Could Spider Venom Be Used As A Novel Insecticide For Major Crop Pests?

Could spider venom be used as a new novel insecticide? Image ©giovzaid85 via Flickr

Could spider venom be used as a new novel insecticide? Image ©giovzaid85 via Flickr

A new protein discovered in the venom of Australian tarantulas can also kill insect pests that consume the venom orally. The protein known as orally active insecticidal peptide-1 (OAIP-1) was found to be highly toxic to insects that consumed it, with a similar efficacy to the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid. In particular, the protein was found to be highly toxic to the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa zea.

Many spider species have evolved insecticidal toxins in their venom, which they inject into the prey through their fangs. Consequently it has often been presumed that the venom would not be toxic when ingested orally by insects pests, and therefore would not be suitable for use as an insecticide. Conversely, the scientists in this study discovered it is possible to isolate spider venom peptides with high levels of oral insecticidal activity. The team used the venom from Selenotypus plumipes which is a large tarantula native to Australia which despite its large size is not harmful to humans.

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Update: Plant Health News (23 Oct 13)

New survey reveals role of botanical gardens in achieving food security © Craig Elliott (CC BY-NC-ND)

New survey reveals role of botanical gardens in achieving food security © Craig Elliott (CC BY-NC-ND)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the role of botanic gardens in food security,  how grazers and pollinators shape plant evolution and a new soil testing kit designed for smallholder farmers.

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