Is It Time for Genetically Modified Bananas in Uganda?

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Banana plantation (© CABI)

Uganda is the world’s second largest producer of banana crop, with individuals consuming around 1.5 pounds of banana every day. Due to this major need for the success of banana crops within the country, plant pests and diseases are ever more threatening.

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Lead Battery Soil Contamination in Africa and the Implications on Plant and Human Health

Globally, battery manufacturing and recycling plants have been identified as the major sources of soil lead contamination that have resulted in lead exposure to neighbouring communities via the accumulation of lead within plants.

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Masai child next to Opuntia stricta (© CABI)

Lead is naturally found in soil in relatively low concentrations (10-50 mg/kg) in which it is taken up by plants via the roots and accumulates within root cells as lead is used in low levels by plants. Excessive lead concentrations found within plants have been shown to reduce the functionality of morphological, biochemical and physiological functions as well as promoting deleterious effects. For more detailed information on the effects of lead on plant health, see here.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (5 Jan 18)

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Invasive Golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) eggs on freshwater aquatic plant (© Dr. Raju Kasambe)

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 the golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) in Iraq, the first report of Ceratocephalus falcatus smut caused by Urocystis eranthidis and a new species of thrip (Genus: Odontothrips) in China. Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Dec 17)

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Electron micrograph of Papaya ringspot virus, PRSV-P (© Jorge A.M. Rezende)

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 a first report of snow mould (Typhula cf. subvariabilis) in Antarctica, the first report of Drosophila suzukii and the black locust gall midge (Obolodiplosis robiniae) in Poland.

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Rhodococcus ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Bacteria Discovered in Plant Nurseries

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Multiple shoot development (Danny Vereecke)

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have used genome sequencing to identify species of the soil bacteria genus Rhodococcus that is commonly associated with stimulated growth patterns in a number of plant species. Herbaceous perennials such as chrysanthemum, speedwell and Shasta daisy are primarily affected by this bacterium.

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