Plant Health

Plant health

Plant health deals with wise:

Pests like desert locust, western corn root worm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), the Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) are suggested together with plant diseases, causing famine in the past: potato blight (Phytophthora infestans), or big economic losses in agricultural production: wheat stem rust strain Ug99 (Puccinia graminis tritici), South American rubber blight (Microcyclus ulei) and cofee wilt disease (Fusarium xylarioides).*

Molecular Plant Pathology has recently published the results of a survey amongst plant virologists, ranking plant viruses based on scientific/economic importance. The historical perspective, the science, the economics and the latest research are discussed for each of the viruses making it into the ‘Top 10’.

First place is given to Tobacco mosaic virus for its scientific importance based on its role which has extended beyond practical plant pathology (as a virus causing serious losses in a profitable crop) to its use as a model system and in molecular pathology.

Top 10 plant viruses: (1) Tobacco mosaic virus, (2) Tomato spotted wilt virus, (3) Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, (4) Cucumber mosaic virus, (5) Potato virus Y, (6) Cauliflower mosaic virus, (7) African cassava mosaic virus, (8) Plum pox virus, (9) Brome mosaic virus and (10) Potato virus X.

*SourcesAgriculture scientist Dr Matthew Cock,  chief scientist for Cabi, a UK-based agri-environment research organisation, lists some of the biggest biological threats to global food security. The original article (BBC News) was cited also by IPM in the South (18 Jan 2012).

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