From the Hindu Business Line by L. N. Revathy
Archive for the ‘Pest diagnostics’ Category
New research conducted in the major potato growing regions of the United States, has found that the Tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) – a highly destructive pest affecting potato crops – can survive even the harshest of winter conditions.
“Despite it being an extremely cold winter in some of the key potato regions of the United States earlier this year, researchers there identified living psyllids in these areas, proving just how resilient this highly destructive pest can be,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Luke Raggatt.
“These findings from the US reaffirm how critical the research and development (R&D) work that is being conducted on the TPP within the Australian potato industry continues to be for growers and processors alike,” said Mr Raggatt.
Amongst Australian research on the TPP is a project currently being conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), which is monitoring the distribution and prevalence of native psyllid populations in key potato growing areas across Eastern Australia using sticky traps. The use of the traps aims to provide the industry with an effective early warning system for incursions of the TPP, which is not currently found in Australia.
“It is critical that the Australian potato industry remains vigilant to ensure that it can swiftly and effectively identify a potential outbreak of the Tomato-potato psyllid,” said Mr Raggatt.
“While Australia is currently free from the psyllid, there is a real possibility of the pest entering our shores through a number of different means, including the transit of plant materials arriving from affected countries such as the US or New Zealand,” said Mr Raggatt.
R&D activities in Australia conducted in this area have included an investigation into the role of psyllids as vectors of disease; raising the awareness of Zebra Chip disease within the industry; developing rapid diagnostic tools for the detection of pathogens associated with Zebra Chip; and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that would help to control the psyllid.
“In the last few years, the Australian potato industry has invested heavily in a range of R&D projects in an attempt to ensure that potato growers and processors are in a position to deal with this devastating pest and its associated disease, should it arrive here in the future,” said Mr Raggatt.
“Research findings from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, have all re-enforced how much there is still to learn about the behaviour of the TPP and the spread of the destructive disease that it harbours,” said Mr Raggatt.
The US research was conducted by the Idaho, Washington State and Oregon Potato Commissions.
For more information:
Tel: +61 (03) 9822 0388
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Publication date: 4/26/2013
by MONI on MARCH 1, 2013
Josie Lynn Catindig
International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
Bar coding sequential steps
Expertise in arthropod taxonomy is now very scarce. There are very few taxonomic experts in the world who can identify specimens to species levels and describe new species discovered in nature. In the national systems, many scientists working on pest management are unable to identify pests and natural enemies to species levels. The shortage of specialists in pest and natural enemy diagnosis is acute and there is a need to find new diagnostic tools. One way to overcome the shortage is through the use of remote microscopy and the internet to link national scientists and taxonomic specialists. Such a system will still require communication between scientists in the field and taxonomic expertise.
The usual way of identifying insects is the use of identification keys based on their morphological features. This is highly dependent of specialized taxonomic expertise and is also time consuming. DNA bar coding can be a useful tool for identification in taxonomy. It is a process where a short but specific gene tags or barcodes are utilized to distinguish one species from another (Hebert & Gregory 2005). The technique was first proposed by Hebert et al in 2003 as a universal species diagnostic in their paper entitled “Biological identification through DNA barcodes”. The mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) can serve as the core of a global bioidentification system for animals. Working in collaboration with Dr David Gopurenko, a scientist in molecular systematics in New South Wales, Department of Primary Industries, IRRI is beginning to barcode and establish a barcode reference for identified hymenopteran parasitoids from IRRI’s arthropod collection to be available for use in species matching and identification.
Species identification using DNA barcodes starts with a specimen either fresh or dried. In the laboratory short pieces of DNA that are diagnostic for a species is collected. For example, a tiny piece of the specimen’s tissue such as a leg is used to extract its DNA.
Screen capture of the BOLDSYSTEM (picture credit – D. Gopurenko)
The BOLDSYSTEMS, established in 2005, is like a library with a searchable repository for barcode records. It is an online workbench that aids collection, management, analysis, and use of DNA barcodes. It has three main components: first, it is a repository for the specimen and sequence records that form the basic data unit of all barcode studies; second, it is a workbench that aids the management, quality assurance and analysis of barcode; and third, it provides a vehicle for collaboration across geographically dispersed research communities by coupling flexible security and data entry features with web-based delivery.
To guide the users, the BOLDSYSTEMS has the following menu: Databases link to access resources such as a public data portal, barcode index number, publication and primers used in the generation of barcodes; Taxonomy link provides a page that displays the kingdom of life being bar coded, their images, distribution map and other details for each taxon; Identification link provides access to identification engines of animal, plant and fungi; Workbench link provides access to BOLD data analysis, records of specimen data submitted, and management workbench; and Resources link provide access to site documentation, training materials and workflow documents.
DNA bar coding as a taxonomic tool along with the barcode library such as in the BOLDSYSTEMS will help scientists rapidly sort, compare and identify specimens. It will also emphasize taxa or reveal cryptic species, which may represent new biological species.
The DNA sequence of a specimen can be placed into BOLDSYSTEM and compared with the barcode database. In this case the DNA was from Drosophila yakuba and it matched several other barcodes in the database 100%.
BOLDSYSTEMS in http://www.barcodinglife.com
Hebert PDN, Cywinska A, Ball SL, deWaard JR. 2003. Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 270:313-321.
Hebert PDN, Gregory RT. 2005. The promise of DNA barcoding for Taxonomy. Systematic Biology 54(5): 852-859.
April 30, 2012
Barcodes may bring to mind the sales tags and scanners found in supermarkets and other stores. But U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are using “DNA barcodes” to monitor insects that damage crops as diverse as wheat, barley and potatoes, and to make pest management decisions.
In DNA barcoding, scientists sequence a designated part of an organism’s genome and produce a barcode from it for a systematic comparison with the sequenced DNA of other closely related species. DNA barcodes are being developed on a wide range of plants and animals as part of a global effort to catalogue the diversity of life on Earth.
Matthew Greenstone, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist at the agency’s Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., is using DNA barcodes in an unconventional way: to identify insect predators best equipped to control the Colorado potato beetle, which is the single most damaging insect pest of potatoes in the Eastern United States.
ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA goal of promoting agricultural sustainability.
Numerous studies have analyzed the gut contents of predatory insects to evaluate their ability to control pests in a field. But predators digest prey at different rates, so simple gut analysis is insufficient for accurately comparing the effectiveness of different predators. Greenstone has fine-tuned the approach, using barcodes to come up with a way to factor in how quickly different insects digest prey.
He and his colleagues collected four potato beetle predators, fed them lab-raised potato beetles and determined how long the pest’s barcoded DNA could be detected in the predators’ guts. The results, published in the journal Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, show the importance of taking digestive rates into account when evaluating insect predators as biocontrol agents. They also may provide guidance to growers on the most effective control strategies for combating a voracious pest.
Read more about this research in the April 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
January 27, 2012
LINCOLN, Neb. — A hands-on course on the basics of invasive plant ecology and management for public and private landowners, managers, students and others will be offered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte this summer.
The three-day short course is June 26-28. It will include presentations, hands-on workshops, site visits and instructor-led discussions on the latest in invasive plant ecology and management.
Course moderator and Extension weed ecologist Steve Young said the course will focus on learning the principles of integrated weed management, herbicide modes of action, plant identification, biological controls, using technology to analyze invasive plant species populations and instruction on using restoration practices for managing invasive plants.
“Last year was our first year for the NAIPSC short course. We’ve modified it this year to address the most pressing subjects, like water use by invasive plants and developing a basic management strategy using GPS and mapping in a full day field exercise. West Central Nebraska hosts many of the same invasive plant species found throughout North America, so it is an ideal location for the course,” he said.
Course instructors are from UNL as well as from across the country, including Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
Registration is $650 and includes course materials, meals and transportation to off-site locations. Registration deadline is May 1 and the course is limited to the first 40 applicants. The NAIPSC course is primarily for land managers, public and private landowners, researchers, policymakers and students.
Continuing education unit credit is available from the Society for Range Management and other sponsoring organizations and graduate students can earn up to two academic credits by completing online assignments following the course.
Course cosponsors include Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Society for Range Management, Center for Invasive Plant Management, Midwest Invasive Plant Network and others.
Agronomy & Horticulture Weed Ecologist (308) 696-6712
Steve Ress Nebraska Water Center – Communications Coordinator (402) 472-3305
Publication Code: MN143
ISBN: 978 1 921615 88 7 (online)
Publication Date: July 2010
Author(s): Pol Chanthy, Stephanie Belfield and Robert Martin
An insect identification field guide for farmers and extension workers in the upland cropping systems of Cambodia. This book is part of a series of publications produced by ACIR in support of the rollout of on-farm demonstrations for upland crops in Cambodia.
Publication Code: MN141
ISBN: 978 1 921531 65 1 (online)
Publication Date: October 2009
Author(s): Robert Mart in & Pol Chanthy
A weed identification guide for farmers and extension workers in the upland cropping systems of Cambodia. Sponsored by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
This book is part of a series of publications produced by ACIAR in support of the on-going rollout of on-farm demonstrations for upland crops in Cambodia.
Pest and Disease Diagnostics for International Trade and Food Security
August 22 - September 2, 2011
The Ohio State University
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Wooster, Ohio USA
Why Take This Course?
Accurate identification of plant diseases and insect pests is the first step in integrated pest management. It is also a linchpin in international agricultural trade, as freedom from pests and diseases is a pre-requisite to phytosanitary certification. Plant disease and pest diagnosis in both field and laboratory settings requires extensive training and hands-on experience in traditional and modern diagnostic methods. The Ohio State University will conduct a 2-week, lab-based short course providing intensive training in classical and modern plant disease and insect pest diagnostics for up to 15 participants. Training in data management, networking, and Sanitary/Phytosanitary (SPS) issues that affect international trade will also be provided.
Dr. Sally Miller (contact)
Department of Plant Pathology
1680 Madison Ave.
Wooster, OH 44691 USA
Dr. Luis Cañas
Department of Entomology
1680 Madison Ave.
Wooster, OH 44691 USA
See poster for details: http://plantpath.osu.edu/extension/international/
Pestnet (http://www.pestnet.org): Free on-line Crop Protection and Quarantine Advisory Serviceby Grahame Jackson, Australia
Pestnet (http://www.pestnet.org) is a free on-line crop protection and quarantine advisory service with more than 1000 members. Run entirely by volunteers, it was first established in 1999 for the Pacific. In 2001 it expanded to south Asia, and in 2003 helped set up CariPestnet for the Carribean. It is now open to anyone worldwide to join. Today, PestNet members come from more than 80 countries.
PestNet was established to help overcome the problems experienced by crop protection specialists, extension workers and farmers in remote locations or where agricultural services are poorly established. Pestnet addresses the constraints that are associated with sustaining agriculture and forestry-based livelihoods, particularly when pests and diseases abound and there is no advice readily available. Without fast advice, crops may be lost, or worse still, invasive organisms may become firmly established so that eradication is no longer an option.
Using the Yahoo! Group email@example.com, PestNet responds to questions on pathogens and insect pests of plants, and weeds. It provides identifications on-line, and gives out pest and incursion alerts, plant protection news and contents of journals as they become available. Since its inception, crop protection specialists and practitioners have posted more than 7500 messages, with currently up to 100 messages being posted per month.
Messages posted to PestNet are first screened by one of its five moderators (located in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Thailand and Uganda) to ascertain the relevance of the content. Queries – often accompanied by an image of the problem – typically receive several answers within 24 hours; hence the service is a very fast means of providing information to remote places which by ‘normal’ means would take days if not weeks.
More recently, PestNet realized that it had accumulated a wealth of information, which it needed to safeguard and make available to a wider audience. Although the messages are archived on Yahoo!Groups, people have to join both PestNet and Yahoo, and then they have to search individual emails to get at the information. To make life easier, PestNet has gone through the archives, summarized the discussions and put these on the PestNet website for anyone to see (http://www.pestnet.org/Summaries/tabid/1100/Default.aspx). Periodically, the summaries are updated.
Over the years, PestNet has been supported by a number of agencies, and it is pleasing to record these in appreciation for their help. The Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) provided support through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for leaflets, posters and the website; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) gave funds to buy cameras and for PestNet to visit Pacific island countries to encourage people to join; and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) assisted with the establishment of CariPestNet, as well as summarising the archive of messages.
Finally, if you would like to help out, and join PestNet, please do so. We want to expand, and that means having more experts. All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, saying who you are, what you do and the name of your organization. Hope to see you on-line!
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