Plant Health Hawaii

Sites: IBIS PH
Publish date: Sat 2014-Oct-18
Discovery date: Sun 2014-Oct-19
Author: Janelle
Channel: Industry
Text (summary):
HONOLULU — One live adult coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) has been found near the Diamond Head Lookout on Oahu’s south shore. The lone CRB was found yesterday by CRB crews checking survey traps. This is the first time that a CRB has been found east of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPH-H) 6-mile zone where the CRB were initially found in December 2013. A second two-mile buffer zone was created in the Campbell Industrial Park area after a CRB was found in a survey trap in July 2014. A third two-mile buffer zone is being established around the Diamond Head Lookout.

Beginning next week traps will be deployed in higher density in the new buffer zone. Additional surveys for breeding sites and damage to coconut trees will also be conducted.

“The detection of this beetle on Diamond Head is of great concern,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Board of Agriculture. “Our crews will step up activities in that area and ask residents to survey their palm trees and also check any mulch piles which may serve as a reservoir for the beetles.”

- See more at: http://planthealth.org/article/coconut-rhinoceros-beetle-found-diamond-head#sthash.xsS1QQqg.dpuf

From: EurekAlert

Contact: David Orenstein
Brown University

iceplant 79961_rel
IMAGE: An iceplant, from a region of high diversity in South Africa, is overtopping and killing a native shrub on the New Zealand coast, a region with far less diversity.



PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Dov Sax of Brown University and Jason Fridley of Syracuse University aren’t proposing a novel idea to explain species invasiveness. In fact, Charles Darwin articulated it first. What’s new about Sax and Fridley’s “Evolutionary Imbalance Hypothesis” (EIH) is that they’ve tested it using quantifiable evidence and report in Global Ecology and Biogeography that the EIH works well.

The EIH idea is this: Species from regions with deep and diverse evolutionary histories are more likely to become successful invaders in regions with less deep, less diverse evolutionary histories. To predict the probability of invasiveness, ecologists can quantify the imbalance between the evolutionary histories of “donor” and “recipient” regions as Sax and Fridley demonstrate in several examples.

Darwin’s original insight was that the more challenges a region’s species have faced in their evolution, the more robust they’ll be in new environments.

“As natural selection acts by competition, it adapts the inhabitants of each country only in relation to the degree of perfection of their associates,” Darwin wrote in 1859. Better tested species, such as those from larger regions, he reasoned, have “consequently been advanced through natural selection and competition to a higher stage of perfection or dominating power.”

To Sax and Fridley the explanatory power of EIH suggests that when analyzing invasiveness, ecologists should add historical evolutionary imbalance to the other factors they consider.

“Invasion biology is well-studied now, but this is never listed there even though Darwin basically spelled it out,” said Sax, associate of ecology and evolutionary biology. “It certainly hasn’t been tested before. We think this is a really important part of the story.”

Evidence for EIH

Advancing Darwin’s insight from idea to hypothesis required determining a way to test it against measurable evidence. The ideal data would encapsulate a region’s population size and diversity, relative environmental stability and habitat age, and the intensity of competition. Sax and Fridley found a suitable proxy: “phylogenetic diversity” (PD), an index of how many unique lineages have developed in a region over the time of their evolution.

“All else equal, our expectation is that biotas represented by lineages of greater number or longer evolutionary history should be more likely to have produced a more optimal solution to a given environmental problem, and it is this regional disparity, approximated by PD, that allows predictions of global invasion patterns,” they wrote.

With a candidate measure, they put EIH to the test.

Using detailed databases on plant species in 35 regions of the world, they looked at the relative success of those species’ invasiveness in three well-documented destinations: Eastern North America, the Czech Republic, and New Zealand.

They found that in all three regions, the higher the PD of a species’ native region, the more likely it was to become invasive in its new home. The size of the effect varied among the three regions, which have different evolutionary histories, but it was statistically clear that plants forged in rough neighborhoods were better able to bully their way into a new region than those from evolutionarily more “naive” areas.

Sax and Fridley conducted another test of the EIH in animals by looking at cases where marine animals were suddenly able to mix after they became united by canals. The EIH predicts that an imbalance of evolutionary robustness between the sides, would allow a species-rich region to dominate a less diverse one on the other side of the canal by even more than a mere random mixing would suggest.

The idea has a paleontological precedent. When the Bering land bridge became the Bering Strait, it offered marine mollusks a new polar path between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Previous research has shown that more kinds of mollusks successfully migrated from the diverse Pacific to the less diverse Atlantic than vice-versa, and by more so than by their relative abundance.

In the new paper, Sax and Fridley examined what has happened since the openings of the Suez Canal in Egypt, the Erie Canal in New York, and the Panama Canal. The vastly greater evolutionary diversity in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean compared to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic led to an overwhelming flow of species north through the Suez.

But evolutionary imbalances across the Erie and Panama Canals were fairly small (the Panama canal connects freshwater drainages of the Atlantic and Pacific that were much more ecologically similar than the oceans) so as EIH again predicts, there was a more even balance of cross-canal species invasions.

Applicable predictions

Sax and Fridley acknowledge in the paper that the EIH does not singlehandedly predict the success of individual species in specific invasions. Instead it allows for ecosystem managers to assess a relative invasiveness risk based on the evolutionary history of their ecosystem and that of other regions. Take, for instance, a wildlife official in a historically isolated ecosystem such as an island.

“They already know to be worried, but this would suggest they should be more worried about imports from some parts of the world than others,” Sax said.

Not all invasions are bad, Sax noted. Newcomers can provide some ecosystem services — such as erosion control — more capably if they can become established. The EIH can help in assessments of whether a new wave of potential invasion is likely to change the way an ecosystem will provide its services, for better or worse.

“It might help to explain why non-natives in some cases might improve ecosystem functioning,” Sax said.

But perhaps Darwin already knew all that.


Muniappan headshot


Muni Muniappan wins award for work in tropical agriculture


Saving the papaya industry in southern India. Discovering an invasive species in Senegal and Nepal. Connecting researchers in developing countries. These are some of the accomplishments of entomologist Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan that caught the attention of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development and that won him the organization’s 2014 award for scientific excellence.

Muniappan received the BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence today in Des Moines, Iowa. It is presented each year by the presidentially appointed body that governs U.S. foreign assistance in agriculture.

Muniappan is director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, a venture that works in developing countries to achieve three vital aims: minimize crop losses, increase farmer income, and decrease pesticide use. Muniappan, a longtime expert in the study of insects that benefit or harm humans, leads a multimillion dollar research portfolio of projects that includes partners from 16 American universities and 51 overseas organizations.

Muniappan discovered the papaya mealybug in Asia and helped employ biological control to eradicate it, which restored the livelihoods of thousands of farmers on the Asian subcontinent. This translated to an economic benefit of more than $1 billion over five years, according to a study published in the Journal of Crop Protection.

His discovery of the tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) in Senegal allowed experts to be warned so that preventive biological control measures could be taken for a pest that likely threatens all sub-Saharan tomato farmers.

Muniappan has created incentives for scientists to work together across national boundaries. He recently brought together scientists from South Asia and Central America in a conference on invasive species in Senegal.

Muniappan’s achievements also include control of such pests as the pink hibiscus mealybug, the fruit-piercing moth, the red coconut scale, the banana weevil, and the Asian cycad scale. He has worked to control weeds including the Siam weed, lantana, and the ivy gourd. He has been instrumental in establishing working groups for the weeds chromolaena and parthenium within the International Organization for Biological Control.

Muniappan’s career includes 36 years spent in Guam; a stint as a Fulbright Research Scholar in India; a UN Food and Agriculture Organization consultant in the Maldives, Palau, and Vanuatu; and a visiting professorship at the University of Guyana.

An honorary member of the International Organization for Biological Control since 2010, Muniappan has published journal articles in the Journal of Economic Entomology and Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the innovation lab is managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

Related articles:
1. Speckled beetle key to saving crops in Ethiopia
2. Halting crop destruction in India saves up to $309 million
3. Virginia Tech research program confirms presence of invasive insect in Senegal
4. Virginia Tech entomologist helps Asian farmers fend off papaya mealybug



Tiny wasps deployed to kill crop-eating pests Indonesia’s cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.

Dana MacLean Last updated: 30 Sep 2014 11:25

cassava mealybugThe mealybug, originally from South America, is devastating Indonesia’s cassava crop [Georgina Smith/CIAT]
Scientists will release 3,000 parasitoid wasps in a cassava plantation in the Indonesian city of Bogor, hoping they will prey on the pink mealybug pest that has devastated the crop, the second-most-consumed starch in Indonesia.
The mealybug, a sap-sucking insect originally from South America, thrives in tropical climates and reproduces year-round. Each female lays about 500 eggs at a time, resulting in up to 15 new generations of the bugs annually.
“If not brought under control [in Indonesia], this invasive pest has the potential to considerably reduce cassava yield as it previously did in Thailand and elsewhere in the Asia region,” said Johannes Willem Ketelaar, the integrated pest management specialist for vegetables with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in the Asia-Pacific region.

cassava mealybug parasitoid

A photo of the parasitoid wasp released by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture [AP]
Parasitoid wasps lay eggs inside the mealybug – and when the eggs hatch as larvae, the mealybug implodes. The strategy has been successfully used before to address a mealybug infestation in Thailand in 2010, as well as in Africa’s cassava belt, where the pest population was reduced to less than 10 percent of its peak, according to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR).
But repeated introductions of new crops and species to foreign ecosystems were what created the mealybug problem in the first place. Neither the insect nor cassava are indigenous to the Greater Mekong subregion, which includes Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and China’s southern Yunnan province.
“There is always a risk of unintended consequences when introducing a new species into an ecosystem,” said Laura Kahn, a physician and co-founder of the One Health Initiative, a scientific research movement investigating interaction among humans, animals and ecosystems.
Nevertheless, using the parasitoid wasps as a form of biocontrol is more environmentally sound than pesticides, scientists say, and has a proven track record.

Taking over, ‘alien-style’
Indonesian cassava farmers first sighted the mealybug in 2010. The pests infected entire plantations in Lampung and Java by 2014, according to Aunu Rauf, an entomologist at Bogor Agricultural University.
Mealybugs slowly perish and completely die within about two weeks, while the parasitoid wasp develops and feeds inside the mealybug body.
– Kris Wyckhuys, cassava entomologist
“The farmers did not know how to contain it. They tried to cut the tips off the leaves, but it wouldn’t stop spreading,” said Rauf.
Scientists at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and FAO, in partnership with the Bogor Agricultural University, decided to introduce the wasps.
With heads the size of pins, the two-millimetre-long wasps use the mealybug’s body as a host by implanting their eggs inside and growing into larvae, eventually taking over the plant-sucking pests, “alien-style”, according to Kris Wyckhuys, a cassava entomologist at CIAT based in Hanoi.
“Following parasitism, mealybugs slowly perish and completely die within about two weeks, while the parasitoid wasp develops and feeds inside the mealybug’s body,” Wyckhuys explained.
It will take two years to bring down the mealybug population using the wasps, which scientists hope will adapt to local conditions and reproduce to initiate a long-term, full-fledged assault on mealybugs, which otherwise could become more resilient because of temperature increases associated with climate change.

Better than pesticides
The use of parasitoids, or parasite-like organisms that develop inside other life forms and later kill them, is more effective, safe and sustainable than pesticides, especially in Southeast Asia where farmers often do not use protective equipment, according to the FAO.
“Use of pesticides are often ineffective, contaminate the environment, can result in secondary pest outbreaks and can be hazardous for the applicator’s health,” said Ketelaar.

cassava mealybug parasitoid release

Agricultural officers prepare to release parasitoid wasps at a cassava field in Bogor, Indonesia [AP]
In addition, the waxy substance covering the mealybug’s body acts as an armour against insecticide, while the toxic poison is likely to kill other beneficial insects including the wasps, according to Rauf.
According to the FAO, for the wasp deployment to be successful, “farmers must stop use of pesticides”, stressed Ketelaar.
The study conducted before the wasp release did not find any potential negative side effects on Indonesian flora and fauna, noted CIAT’s Wyckhuys, who added the wasps have never been known to host in other species besides mealybugs.
But given that 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originate in the animal world – often when exotic species are introduced to a new place – risks cannot be completely ruled out, said Kahn.
For example, Kahn said, “white nose syndrome, the fungal disease that is decimating the little brown bat population in the US, was probably introduced by [a European species]. Hopefully nothing bad will happen with the wasps, but you never know.”
Entomologists, however, say the greater risk is that the initiative will not work, because of the use of pesticides or unforeseen wasp predators.
“The huge task of tackling the mealybug problem is just starting, and lots of work remains to be done,” concluded Wyckhuys.

Al Jazeera

Received from:






FirstAnnouncement_IWGLVV2015  2Invitation:

Dear Sir or Madam, dear colleague,

It is our pleasure to invite you to join us at the Fifth Conference of the International Working Group on Legume and Vegetable Viruses (IWGLVV), scheduled from Sunday 30 August – Thursday 3 September 2015 in Haarlem, The Netherlands.

A Call for Papers and Sessions will be issued in September 2014. The deadline for receipt of abstracts will be March 2015.

Please check this web site regularly for updates on registration and the scientific and social programme.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to The Netherlands for our Vth IWGLVV meeting in the beautiful and historic city of Haarlem.

The organizing committee
Links: http://www.plant-virology.nl/IWGLVV2015

First announcement: http://www.plantenvirologie.nl/IWGLVV2015/PDF/FirstAnnouncement_IWGLVV2015.pdf

Dr. M. (Martin) Verbeek
Plant Virologist
Wageningen UR, Plant Research International
Business unit: Biointeractions and Plant Health
PO Box 69
6700 AB Wageningen
Visiting address: Droevendaalsesteeg 1
Room: W0.Ec.011
6708 PB Wageningen
T +31 317 48 06 29
F +31 317 48 10 07
E-mail: martin.verbeek@wur.nl
Disclaimer: http://www.disclaimer-uk.wur.nl

Prepared by Dr. Deena Errampalli, President, Canadian Phytopathological Society

(E-mail: Deena.Errampalli@agr.gc.ca)

The 11th European Foundation for Plant Pathology (EFPP) conference was held in Krakow, Poland from Sept 8-13, 2014. More than 300 delegates from 44 countries and 5 continents attended the conference and shared their scientific research, developed new collaborations and strengthened existing collaborations.

The EFPP (http://www.efpp.net/default.htm) Board met with the representatives of different plant pathology Societies from Europe and Canada (Photo below). See the REPORT OF THE 12th MEETING OF THE BOARD OF THE EFPP WITH DELEGATES OF MEMBER SOCIETIES Krakow, Monday 8 September 2014 at: http://www.efpp.net/Documents/DRAFT%20Report%20Board%20meeting%20EFPP%20Krakow%202014.pdf

EFPP Board conf org committee Deena  Sept 8 2014-1

12th Meeting of the EFPP board and delegates of member societies.
In front, from left to right: Dr. Arne Hermansen (EFPP treasurer), Dr. Piet M. Boonekamp (EFPP vice-president), Prof. Małgorzata Mańka (EFPP president), Dr. Martin Verbeek (EFPP general secretary).
Middle row, from left to right: Prof. Tatiana E. Şesan (Romania), Dr. Deena Errampalli (Canada), Prof. Małgorzata Jędryczka (Poland), Dr. Lesley Torrance (UK).
Back row, from left to right: Prof. Piotr Sobiczewski (Poland), Prof. Maria I. Clara (Portugal), Prof. Maria M. Lopez (Spain), Dr. Petr Komínek (Czech Republic), Prof. Radovan Pokorný (Czech Republic), Dr. Victoria Luksha (Belarus), Dr. Natalia Sklimenok (Belarus), Dr. Nenad Keča (Serbia)

The conference with the theme, ‘Healthy Plants- Healthy People’, was opened by Prof Malgorzata Mańka, President of the EFPP and the dignitaries from Poland brought best wishes to the delegates. Deena Errampalli extended greetings from Canadian plant pathologists to the European colleagues. An excellent scientific program was organised by Prof. Piotr Sobiczewski (Chair) and in his international scientific committee. A special thank you goes to Prof. Malgorzata (Gosia) Jedryczka (Secretary of the Scientific Committee),whose careful thought, creativity, dedication, leadership and hard work in the organization of every aspect of the conference made it a memorable event for all those that had attended the conference. There were eight contributed oral presentations sessions: 1. New pathogens and shifts in pathogenicity; 2. Toxic metabolites of pathogens; 3. Pathogen identification, detection and monitoring; 4. Genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics; 5. Diseases of trees in forests and recreation sites; 6. Plant disease management; 7. Plant pathogens in soil, air, and water and 8. Plant disease resistance. A special session in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, with a lecture on biological monitoring in the treatment salt chambers of the Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Resort, concluded with an amazing conference dinner, in the hall about 125 meters below the ground level, with the floors, ceiling and walls, made up by salt rock. In addition, three workshops on Ramularia leaf spot of barley, Black leg of crucifers and Clubroot of crucifers, and the 5th International Seed Health Conference were held on the September 12th. At the EFPP conference closing ceremony, awards for best poster presentations in each of the scientific and workshop sessions were presented (Photo below).

EFPP conf award winners (3)

EFPP Conference award winners

The conference concluded with a field tour to the ecological orchard (September 12th) where participants observed diseases of tree fruits, and an excursion and field trip to the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland area, a land of caves, castles, and unusual limestone cliffs, ravines and rock formations in the forest (September 13). http://www.efpp11-krakow.pl/ The next EFPP conference will be held in 2017 (location to be determined).


By Zerihun Getachew
Prosopis juliflora, an invasive weed, is posing a threat in Afar regional state by invading most of the grazing lands, the region’s agriculture bureau said.

Prosopis juliflora is an invasive weed grows to a height of up to 12 meters and has a trunk with a diameter of up to 1.2 meters.

The weed has invaded almost all of the grazing land in the region, Ibrahim Mohamed deputy head of the bureau said.

The weed is also expanding to the neighboring states, Amhara, Oromia and Tigray, he added.

The weed invaded 1.7 million hectares land in Afar, he said quoting a study conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO.

Activities are being underway to eradicate the weed.

Crushing the fruit of the weed and bulldozing the plant are the activities being carried out, he added.

The federal government said it is working to destroy the weed in collaboration with stakeholders.

Efforts are being exerted to crush the fruit of the tree and provide for cattle as a fodder, Agriculture State Minister Dr. Gebre-Egizabher Gebre-Yohannes said.

A strategy is being prepared to destroy and control expansion of the weed, he added.

It will be effective after a month.

Prosopis juliflora is a shrub or small tree looking like a mesquite.

It is native to Mexico, the Caribbean. The weed has become established as an invasive weed in Africa, Asia, Australia and elsewhere.

A mature plant can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds, which remain viable for up to 10 years.

Seeds are spread by cattle and other animals that consume the seed pods and spread the seeds in their droppings.

It is estimated that the tree is was introduced to the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s, its aggressive growth leads to a monoculture, denying native plants water and sunlight, and not providing food for native animals and cattle.

Source: ENA



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