Plantwise at the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) Rome

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The 6th  Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures  was held in Rome on 14th –18th of March 2011;  CABI was represented by Dr. Phil Taylor who gave a talk entitled “Maintaining global vigilance for pests and diseases”. This talk described the work of the plant clinics and how the clinic data was being added…
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Introduction of remote microscopy (RM) into ASEAN Regional Diagnostic Network (ARDN)

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The lack of taxonomists is very much a global issue, hence the establishment of the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) and the BioNET International and its LOOPs. In ASEAN countries, the shortage of in-country taxonomic expertise to identify plant pests and diseases is often compounded by difficulties in access to taxonomic expertise abroad. Thus, ASEANET and…
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New Plantwise videos

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Today over one billion people are going hungry every day – the majority of these are smallholder farmers who rely entirely on their crops to feed their families.  Plantwise aims to help improve food security and reduce poverty by providing knowledge that helps farmers identify pests earlier so that they can control these pests before yields are significantly affected.…
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Update: Plant Health News (9 Mar 11)

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Here’s a taste of some of the latest news stories about plant health: Mandalotus weevil study Grains Research & Development Corporation – Media release, 8 March 2011 Hidden fusarium threat revealed Farmers Weekly Interactive – Arable News, 7 March 2011 Rust Never Sleeps The Official Blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 3 March…
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Aid donors join forces to fight wheat rust

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 Emerging strains of stem rust disease of wheat, such as Ug99, are spreading out of East Africa and threatening the world’s wheat supply. But the fight against this disease received a boost this week from a collaboration between the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organisations have…
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Does rust-free rice hold the secret?

All cereals, except rice, are susceptible to rust. Wheat, maize, barley, millet, triticale, and oats all get rust. The spores of rust fungi land on a host plant, germinate, and grow toward a stomatal pore on the leaf surface to initiate infection. Rust infections produce red or yellow pustulating spores that give infected plants a…
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Hessian fly heading for the sack

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Wheat crops suffer millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year due to the hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor. The most effective control method is genetic resistance, when wheat resistance genes cause death of the attacking larvae by activating a defense response against avirulent hessian flies. Unfortunately this has led to flies that can overcome resistant…
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Fast but furious: High yielding plants linked to poor pest resistance

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Breeding plants for fast growth and high yield may make them more susceptible to pests and diseases. New research from the University of Zurich using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has confirmed long suspected theory, showing that when plants put more resources into growth they often shut down some defence genes.
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1000 new ‘Plant Doctors’ trained in Karnataka

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Nearly 1000 farmers in Karnataka are set to be trained as ‘Plant Doctors’ in a major programme funded by the Karnataka State Department of Agriculture and Bio-Control Research Laboratories (BCRL), part of Pest Control India Ltd. (PCI), and supported by CABI. By the end of March 2011 there will be enough trained plant health workers…
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California on alert against citrus psyllid

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 The detection of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) in a citrus grove in Ventura County, California, has set alarm bells ringing in the Californian citrus industry, and led to the imposition of a quarantine in the County just as the citrus harvest was getting under way. The psyllid, now found throughout Florida and present…
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