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Some peanut plants pass ‘memory’ of stress to next generation

Several studies of seed quality, seedling development, and vigor conducted by researchers at the University of Florida suggest that a “memory” of stress events in plants can be passed on to the next generation.

Kelly Arquette, Diane Rowland, Barry Tillman | Apr 18, 2017

For as long as crops have been domesticated, farmers have been selecting seed from the best performing plants; based primarily on their yield and relative performance. In some cases, a plant may experience stress during the season, whether from disease, drought, or insects.

Many times that plant will recover and still produce a decent yield, and possibly provide seed for planting the following year. It’s a system that has worked relatively well for a long time. But this system depends on the idea that if a plant experiences stress and survives, it won’t pass a memory of the stress on to its offspring. Farmers and researchers have made the assumption that the impacts of stress on a plant remain in the current generation and don’t make an imprint into the next generation. But recent research suggests that this might not be true.

Several studies of seed quality, seedling development, and vigor conducted by researchers at the University of Florida suggest that a “memory” of stress events in plants can be passed on to the next generation. In these studies, some varieties of peanut, for example, TUFRunner ‘511’ showed an increased rate of establishment and root growth when their parents had experienced a mild water stress, even when the next-generation seedlings themselves were well-watered.

Figure 1: Peanut root bioassay for early germination and root establishment for seed produced from parent plants that had experienced a mild drought stress during the season and for seed from parents that had not experienced any stress. The left hand panel clearly shows faster and more extensive root growth in offspring from stressed parents over a 12 day span (DAP = Days After Planting). Photo credit: Kelly Racette.

However, other varieties (C7616) displayed the opposite trend; seedlings had improved establishment and root growth when their parents had been well-watered. To complicate matters even further, a third set of varieties, including the Spanish-type variety, COC041, showed no evidence of stress memory in their offspring at all.

The presence of either a positive or negative memory in crop plants could have big implications for seed production. For example, if exposing parent plants to some degree of stress increased seed quality of the next generation, through improved germination and establishment, it may be useful to produce seed under mildly stressful conditions for these varieties. On the other hand, growing varieties that have poor seedling performance from stressed parent plants would require more careful management for seed production to get the best quality seed.

Before recommendations can be refined based on generational stress memory for the production of seed peanuts, further research is being conducted to find out which varieties of peanut display this “memory” and what other impacts stress could have on seed quality.

Currently, studies are being done on other Spanish- and runner-type varieties, like FloRun ‘107’ and New Mexico Valencia C. This additional information is critical to “fine tune” the ideal conditions for each variety during seed production to maximize the quality of seed essential for optimal germination and stand establishment. This research also extends and highlights how important optimal crop management is because decisions within a season could be impacting the next generation.

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Connect!: PICS Bags: How you can get your hands… | AgTechXChange

A simple storage solution, NO CHEMICALS NEEDED- The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags!

PICS bags are triple-layer hermetic bags designed to store grains without using chemical. PICS is a simple, fully commercialized technology that benefit smallholder farmers the world over. PICS are effective at stopping insect damages after harvest on several grains including cowpea, common bean, chickpea, pigeon pea, mung bean, maize, rice, sorghum, millet, bambara groundnut, peanut, hibiscus seed, and sesame.

With PICS bags you will:

  • Keep grain clean and free of insects.
  • Increase income
  • Increase food security
  • Store seed for planting
  • Stop aflatoxin contamination in stored grain

Want to buy PICS bags, click here!

Interested in partnering, click here!

PICS is composed of three distinct plastic bags, one placed in the other, and hand-tied to create a hermetic seal. PICS transfers its licensing for manufacture and distribution to a local company, increasing distribution and availability, for smallholder farmers at the very low price of under $3.00 for a 90 kg bag in Rwanda or Kenya, for example. All of these qualities set PICS a part for commercial potential when Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation first partners with Purdue University to take the technology from the research lab to the market. The commercialization started in 2013 and now in 2017 PICS bags are widely available: click the link above or here for finding where and how to purchase the bags.

BCPC Congress 2017

BCPC 2017

Editors note: The below Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan was prepared by the Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab, and submitted to USAID, as required to utilize insecticides in the project designed to develop strategies to manage Tuta absoluta in Nepal. I have included it in the Global Plant Protection News because 1) it can serve as a model for a similar PERSUAP for another country and 2) it contains a wealth of information regarding the current status, biology and management of Tuta absoluta.

E. A. Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

Asia Program Manger, IPM Innovation Lab

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Kenya has launched a campaign to control the Fall Armyworm, (FAW) which has been sighted by farmers feeding on Maize in Trans Nzoia County, Kenya. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Willy Bett said the pest poses a serious threat to the country’s food security situation. “Its impact will be severe given that the country is just […]

via CABI working with Partners to Manage Fall Armyworm in Kenya — The Plantwise Blog


Agriculture Sector

Agriculture is a key sector in the Yemeni economy, providing the main source of employment for 54% of the population and producing 17.5% of the gross domestic product in 2010. The major agricultural products include fruits (999,256 t), vegetables (1,032,414 t), and cereals (863,934 t), but productivity and production are low and rarely sufficient to meet domestic demand. The financial crisis in 2009, and the subsequent drop in oil prices, and current political turmoil has driven the country to the brink of economic collapse, especially the agricultural research activities. Among the many problems in Yemen, food insecurity is the most serious.


Plant Protection Sub-Sector

The plant protection sub-sector, in Yemen, has been severely affected by the tragic events. The Tehama Development Authority and three agricultural research stations, including departments of plant protection, and, one honeybee center, have been destroyed and/or totally looted. The financial crisis has hit the entire agricultural sub-sector stopping most (99%) of current foreign/international and local funded research and activities. In addition, the government has not paid the salaries of most of the employees including the agricultural sector, and educational sector. Meanwhile, there is an increase in the cost of agricultural inputs due to an increase in the exchange rate of foreign currencies, and corruption.

What is the solution?


  1. Financial crisis- Funding must be allocated for salaries and the replacement of destroyed facilities of the plant protection sub-sector. This could be performed by the re-building of infrastructures, supporting the revitalization of programs and activities, and to encourage investment in the field of plant protection.


  1. Education level: The educational level of farmers in Yemen is generally quite low; the illiteracy rate in Yemen is 48%. This has resulted in the use of incorrect practices to control pests and manage honeybees, using extensive application of pesticides, and a lack of awareness among farmers of the importance of integrated pest management. For this reason, we must initiate a vast awareness campaign before attempting to promote IPM packages.
  1. Invasive exotic, migratory and cross-border insects and endemic diseases-: The following are major threats to production and management strategies must be developed.


The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv. was first recorded in Yemen in 2013 and has recently become one of the major date palm pests in Yemen. The infestation is currently in three directorates in Hadhramout governorate (Eastern plateau zone), a major area for palm cultivation. An emergency project has been launched by FAO in Yemen to manage this pest.

The South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick, first reported in Yemen in 2012 has been recorded on 304 farms in 88 districts. About 70 percent of the tomato crop examined was infested with the pest. Without an effective control program, potential damage to Yemen’s vegetable crop could exceed $300 million.


Dubas bug, Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin is a serious sucking pest of date palm. It was recorded in 2002. It has disrupted production in the eastern coast and plateau zones. It causes direct and indirect damage to palm and cultivated trees under date palm.


Wheat rust disease, Ug99 is a lineage of wheat stem rust spread from Africa, Uganda-Kenya to Yemen in 2006. In the key wheat growing areas of the country, during October 2010 to March 2011, stem rust was widespread in the highlands and western areas. Due to the current conflict the current status of stem rust races in the conflict-ridden areas of Yemen are unknown.


Desert locust. Locust monitoring, early warning and preventive control measures are believed to have played an important role in the decline in the frequency and duration of plagues since the 1960s; however, today climate change is leading to more frequent, unpredictable and extreme weather and poses fresh challenges on how to monitor and respond to locust activity. The conflict is severely hampering control operations and the locust thus poses a potential threat to crops in the region.

  1. Apiculture- Honey is a high value crop in Yemen. In 2013, production was 2,614 t, and revenue about 19,611 million2. Apiculture in Yemen faces many problems, and productivity is the lowest as compared to other Arab countries. In the conflict-ridden areas, the situation is the worst it has ever been. This is due to the limitation and/or restriction of beekeepers’ mobility between locations of bee forage plants, targeting apicultures and beekeepers’ by airstrikes or looting, and high prices of apicultural inputs and transport.


  1. Protected cultivation- In recent years, protected cultivation (plastic tunnels) has significantly increased, even in the conflict-ridden areas. They are most often used in the northern, central and southern highland zones of Yemen. They are used extensively for cash crops, mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Protected cultivation could be the agricultural future and one of important technologies to reduce food insecurity and improve the incomes of rural households in Yemen. However, here is a lack of information on the proper use protected cultivation and the problems that farmers face such as the extensive use of pesticides.


  1. Quarantine- Activation of plant quarantine measures at functioning ports, instead of destroyed ports, is very important in the current situation as quarantine is the first defense against exotic insects and diseases.


7. Pesticides- Pesticides are extensively and incorrectly used to control pests, particularly on khat/gat and vegetables (mostly under protected cultivation). About 1,152, 963 t of pesticides were imported during 2013. Pesticides cause a negative impact on humans and the environment resulting in 16,000-17,000 cancer cases each year in Yemen. In addition, agricultural exports are sometimes rejected because of a high value of pesticide residue. Therefore, increasing the monitoring measures and revisions in the pesticide regulations, and farmer training are necessary.



Yemen’s agricultural sector has significantly shrunk mainly due to the current conflict and this has negatively affected the plant protection sub-sector. The investment in the plant protection sub-sector is one of the keys to increase agricultural production and productivity resulting in food security and to improve the livelihood of Yemenis. The emerging issues 1)the financial crisis, 2) educational level, and 3) management of exotic insects and diseases and honeybees are high priorities that must be given consideration and urgent intervention by the plant protection sub-sector.


Maher A. Moraiet                         Sana’a, Yemen- April 16, 2017

Division of Entomology

Department of Plant Protection

Agriculture Research Station – Seiyun

Agricultural Research and Extension Authority

P.Box :9041 Seiyun, Hadramout, Yemen

Email: maher.moraiet@gmail.com

Yemen 1

Destruction of the Agricultural Research Station, Bajl- Hodeidah  

 Yemen 2

Direct shelling of of screen houses at Imran

 Yemen 3

Direct shelling of agricultural research fields – Yarm – Ab 

Source: http://agricultureyemen.com

Yemen 4     Yemen 5

The scene of destruction and looting of the Agricultural Research Station in Bajl- Hodeidah – Alcod, after the war with Qada in Abyan, Yemen

Source: www.adengd.net


West Australian potato disease threat stunts trade as growers warned spread ‘almost inevitable’ – ABC Rural – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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West Australian potato disease stunts trade as growers warned spread ‘almost inevitable’

Posted 30 Mar 2017, 5:26pmThu 30 Mar 2017, 5:26pm

More than 5,000 tonnes of Western Australian seed potato could be dumped due to trade restrictions put in place to deal with the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) outbreak.

The Department of Agriculture and Food of WA (DAFWA) is currently assessing whether the bacterium Candidatus liberibacter solanacearum is present in the state, which has the potential to cause the damaging zebra chip disease in potatoes.

The psyllid was detected in the state last month, which was the first time it had ever been discovered in Australia.

DAFWA introduced new quarantine measures to help contain an outbreak of the psyllid last week as a national plan was released to help monitor and contain the movement of vegetables and seedlings.

The executive director of biosecurity and regulation for the department Kevin Chennell said the disease was going to prove difficult to eradicate.

“There’s national consensus that it’s going to be very difficult,” he said.

“We’re going to be trying very, very hard and working with industry and community to suppress and contain TPP [but] it may be very difficult to eradicate it.”

Western Australian Potato Seed Growers chairman and Albany-based grower Colin Ayres said the restrictions on trade for seed stock interstate was frustrating for the industry.

He said seed stock from WA would need to be exported to South Australia by May if it were to be viable.

“Although everyone’s been kept up-to-date, the wheels of any government move pretty slow,” he said.

“When there’s a timeline to where this product is of no use to anyone, growers do feel frustrated that decisions aren’t made quicker.”

Mr Ayres said growers could potentially be forced to dump 5,000 tonnes of seed stock if trade restrictions were not lifted.

New Zealand experience a warning

This is the first time TPP has been discovered in Australia but the psyllid was first detected in New Zealand more than a decade ago.

The psyllid spread from where it was initially detected on the North Island and was also detected on the South Island three years ago.

Potato industry consultant Dr Iain Kirkwood worked with New Zealand growers for the past five years in attempting to contain the psyllid and zebra chip disease, which can be found in potato crops across the country.

Dr Kirkwood works as a field officer for a seed potato company, Eurogrow Potatoes.

He said, from what he had seen of the spread of the zebra chip disease in New Zealand, he believed it was “almost inevitable” that the psyllid, and the disease if it was found, would spread.

“In terms of being able to manage the disease you have to identify that it’s there first,” he said.

“The disease is a really difficult one to deal with because it’s got so many different expressions.”

But Dr Kirkwood said Western Australian growers should not give up hope.

“Don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world [and] it can be managed,” he said.

“The North Island [of New Zealand] has had it for 10 to 12 years and they’re managing it quite effectively now.”

Dr Kirkwood said growers would need to “get into a cycle” of spraying and monitoring the disease.

He said there were more and more insecticides to manage the psyllid coming on to the market all the time.

Topics: vegetables, quarantine, perth-6000