Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle on Guam – an update

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An adult male coconut rhinoceros beetle. Emmy Engasser, Hawaiian Scarab ID, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org

10 years ago the Coconut Rhinoceros beetle (CRB) was first discovered on the western Pacific island of Guam. Since then, these shoe-shine black, miniature invaders have spread to all parts of the island and are laying waste to the local coconut and oil palm population. The economy, culture and ecology  of Guam and other Pacific islands are intrinsically linked to the native palm species such that the rhino beetle poses a major threat. The indigenous peoples of Guam have a long history of weaving palm fronds, an artistry that is now at risk due to the rhino beetle. These trees are a symbol of tropic paradise, a motif that drives Guam’s primary industry; tourism. Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (17 Sep 14)

A new species of leafhopper has been identified in Brazil © Steven Severinghaus (CC BY-NC-SA)
A new species of leafhopper has been identified in Brazil © Steven Severinghaus (CC BY-NC-SA)

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 Fusarium wilt in blueberry caused by Fusarium oxysporum in China, a new species of Beamerana from southeastern Brazil and new records of plant parasitic nematodes from rhizosphere of onion in Iran. 

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (06 Aug 14)

A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected in India © Scot Nelson  (CC BY-SA)
A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected in India © Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA)

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 Diaporthe pseudomangiferae causing inflorescence rot, rachis, canker, and flower abortion of mango,  the first report of mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma in papaya in India and fig fly occurrence in Rio Grande do Sul State.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (25 Jun 14)

Phomopsis blight of eggplant has been identified in Egypt © David B. Langston, University of Georgia (CC BY)
Phomopsis blight of eggplant has been identified in Egypt © David B. Langston, University of Georgia (CC BY)

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 bacterial leaf blight of jute caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. capsularii in India, the molecular characterization of a novel victorivirus from the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana and the first report of phomopsis blight of eggplants in Egypt. 

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Plantwise Photo Of The Month – June

Plant clinic in Machakos, Kenya
Plant clinic in Machakos, Kenya © CABI

Photo Of The Month for June shows a plant clinic during market day at a village near Machakos, 50 kilometers outside Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. The photo shows a farmer showing a crop sample to a plant doctor, who is using his knowledge and reference material on the table to diagnose what is wrong with the crop and provide management information to the farmer.  You can read more about plant clinics in Kenya here

New plant disease records from CABI scientists in 2011

Pustules of the potato deforming rust, Aecidium cantense, on an African eggplant leaf © Fen Beed, CGIAR

In 2011, CABI scientists helped to discover new occurrences of disease-causing phytoplasmas and fungi in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Our scientists, based in Egham in southeast England, provide the Plantwise diagnostic service free of charge to developing countries to support the plant clinics, which give advice to farmers with plant health problems. They work in collaboration with scientists from other institutions around the world to diagnose diseases that can’t be identified in the country that the diseases are found.

As farmers monitor their crops for pests and diseases, new discoveries are being made all the time. New species of pest are found, known pests pop up in a new place or find homes on new plant species. Increased globalisation has facilitated the spread of many pests; more complex trade and travel networks have led to more opportunities for pests to hitch a ride to a new place. Changes in climate can also change the suitability of regions to pests, leading to a spread to locations not previously threatened. When it has been confirmed that a pest has been found in a new place or on a new plant host, our scientists publish their report in a peer-reviewed journal such as New Disease Reports to communicate their findings to the wider scientific community. The following records are those co-authored by CABI scientists in 2011. Continue reading