When Jon Eisenback, professor of plant nematology at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, conducted nematode surveys on vegetables and rice in Cambodia this past August, one of the most surprising things he encountered in the vegetable fields was, in a word, nothing.

“One of the biggest finds from that trip was almost completely sterile soil,” Eisenback said of the surveys he and postdoctoral associate Paulo Viera conducted in vegetable farms near Siem Reap.

They visited farms growing cucumbers, sweet melons, eggplants, tomatoes, and cantaloupes to assess whether any of them were suffering from nematode invasions, but they found that all the crops were grown under plastic with drip irrigation. They had been covered with so many pesticides that there was nearly nothing living – the soil was essentially ruined.


Jon Eisenback, second from right, professor of plant nematology at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, testing soil in the fields of Cambodia with postdoctoral associate Paulo Viera, second from left.

Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that cause significant damage to many crops. In Cambodia, a country with nearly half of its labor force in agriculture, nematodes can create big problems for food production.

To control the pest, Eisenback and Viera traveled to Cambodia to survey nematodes for two IPM Innovation Lab Projects: Rice IPM for Cambodia and Vegetable crops and mango IPM in Asia.

Because of our program’s focus on biocontrol and biopesticides to alleviate agricultural pest problems, Eisenback said that the vegetable IPM project would increase chances that vegetable farmers in Cambodia would stop the soil-killing overuse of pesticides.

After surveying the vegetable fields in the north, Eisenback and Viera traveled to the south of the country to conduct nematode surveys on rice. Given the dearth of scientific literature published on nematodes in Cambodia relating to rice, Eisenback and Viera weren’t sure what to expect. However, they found that the rice fields they surveyed showed a significant loss of production caused by the rice root nematode.

“Every root we looked at had lesions,” Eisenback said. The culprit was a parasitic nematode called Hirschmanniella mucronata. “Rice roots should be creamy white. These were speckled with brown and orange lesions.”

Eisenback expects that these nematodes could cause a 20 to 30 percent crop loss of rice in affected fields.

The next step is field demonstrations; to undertake them, half the fields should be treated with nematicide to measure the effect. Eisenback also said he hopes to continue the survey to see what other nematodes are there.

“I would suspect that there are other fields with other nematode problems.”

As for the vegetable fields with the sterile soil near Siem Reap, Eisenback offered a recommendation for them as well: Don’t use so many toxic pesticides.

With IPM IL’s projects up and running in the region, that should soon become less of a problem.

From PestNet

The first genetically modified (GM) maize research trials have been planted on October 5, 2016 in Tanzania’s Dodoma region, a semi-arid area in the central part of the country. The confined field trial aims to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of a drought tolerant GM maize hybrid developed by the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project. Dr. Alois Kullaya, country coordinator for the WEMA project in Tanzania, said that researchers are happy that they are now able to carry out confined field trials, “and produce tangible results for people to see, as well as illustrate how biotech maize will benefit the farmers.” He however stated that the GM maize would take at least three years to establish its value.

Tanzania’s progress comes a year after the country revised a strict liability clause in the Environment Management Biosafety Regulations. The restrictive clause stated that scientists, donors, and partners funding research would be held accountable in the event of any damage that might occur during or after research on GM crops. Such developments in Tanzania, therefore provides hope for the technology’s prospects across the continent. This is fundamental because Africa has been ravaged by frequent drought over the years, leading to severe crop shortages and hunger for over 300 million Africans who depend on maize as their main food source.

Under a royalty-free licensing agreement, seed companies in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda are already growing and selling DroughtTEGO™, a drought tolerant maize hybrid developed by WEMA to suit local conditions.

For more details, read the article at the Cornell Alliance for Science website or contact Dr. Alois Kullaya at akkullaya@yahoo.co.uk.

Grahame Jackson
24 Alt street
Queens Park
NSW 2022


ASPP-Logo  and   FAO



FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT: 12th Arab Congress of Plant Protection. ACPP 2017 5–9 November 2017, CAIRO EGYPT-. “Towards Future Secure Agricultural Production”

The Arab Society for Plant Protection (ASPP) in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Center (ARC), Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt, represented by the Plant Protection Research Institute and the Plant Pathology Research Institute, has the pleasure to welcome and invite scientists, researchers, academicians, and those who are involved with various aspects of the field of plant protection of pests from government agencies, universities, research and extension institutions, and international agencies to present and exchange regional expertise of all aspects of plant protection, including recent developments related to integrated pest management strategies.
19 ANEPPNEL 67 March, 2016
Congress Topics
1. Economic insect and animal pests
2. Integrated management of Phytopathogens
3. Etiology and epidemiology of plant diseases
4. Natural enemies and their role in pest management 5. Post-harvest pests 6. Effect of environmental changes on insect pests, plant pathogens and natural enemies
7. Date palm pests
8. Bio-pesticides 9. Nano-technology for pests and Plant diseases control
10. Safe use of agrochemicals 11. Quarantine regulations and phytosanitary measures
12. Integrated pest management 13. Genetic engineering and pest control
14. Integrated control of weeds 15. Apiculture and Sericulture
Congress Language: Arabic (Official) for papers presentation and English for symposia presentations.

ACPP2017 Secretariat: Please contact us if you have any question or suggestion via:
Post Address: 7 Nadi El-Said Street, Dokki, Giza, Egypt
E-mail: acpp2017@arc.sci.eg- Phone/ Fax: +202-33372193, Mobile: +201274998314
Website www.acpp2017.sci.eg

Note: A symposium on the South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, will be co-sponsored by the Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab and the Tuta absoluta Working Group of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) .

tuta S american


A new dedicated website for the  Starting in January 1, 2016, a dedicated website for the Arab Journal of Plant Protection was launched. All society members and others are invited to visit the site www.ajpp.asplantprotection.org, and the journal editorial board welcomes any comments that aims to improve the site and makes it more user friendly. This step was implemented in response to the request of a variety of international scientific journals indexing institutions. At present, the Arab Journal of Plant Protection is indexed by the Arab Impact Factor in Egypt and received an impact factor (IF) in 2015 of 1.6, and also by the Scientific Indexing services (SIS), USA, and received an IF for 2015 of 0.832. The journal is now also being indexed by SCOPUS ELSEVIER, The Netherlands, and by the Institute for Information Resources-Global Impact Factor, Australia. The Arab Society for Plant protection aims from this multi-institutional indexing to establish its excellence status among respected scientific journals in the region and globally.


Researchers Discover Non-Bt Protein for Corn Rootworm Control

DuPont Pioneer researchers discovered a protein from a non-Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium source that shows insecticidal control of western corn rootworm (WCR) in North America and Europe.

The researchers said that the insecticidal protein, designated IPD072Aa, was isolated from Pseudomonas chlororaphis. Transgenic corn plants expressing IPD072Aa showed protection from WCR insect injury under field conditions. The researchers said the protein could be a critical component for managing corn rootworm in future corn seed product offerings, and suggests that bacteria other than Bt are alternative sources of insecticidal proteins for insect control trait development.

For more details, read the news at DuPont Pioneer website.

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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Number of biopesticides available in Europe forecast to overtake chemicals within ten years, says former EU adviser on IPM

Biopesticides set to "overtake chemicals"

Dr Dave Chandler is leading a reserach project to help growers use biopesticides more effectively

There will be more biopesticides on the European market than chemical ones within five to ten years, according to a leading microbiologist and agricultural adviser.

With a raft of new biological products in the pipeline, Europe is set to overtake the Americas to become the biggest market in the world for non-chemical pesticides, according to Dr Dave Chandler, a microbiologist and entomologist at the Warwick University’s crop centre, who has advised the European Parliament and the US Department of Agriculture on Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

This follows the introduction in 2009 of the EU’s Sustainable Use Directive, which set rules for the sustainable use of pesticides to reduce the risks posed by pesticides to people’s health and the environment.

At present there are 91 bio and agchem firms manufacturing biopesticide products in Europe, and only around 35 products available in the UK. But in the UK alone the biopesticide market is booming, with annual growth rates of 15 per cent, compared to 3 per cent for standard synthetic pesticides.

“In Europe, within about five to ten years there will be more biopesticides on the market than there will be chemical pesticides,” Chandler predicted during a talk at the 2016 Great British Tomato Conference on 29 September.

“Europe is going to be the biggest market in the world for biopesticides, so it is important that you as an industry and we as research scientists are able to use them effectively,” he added.

Biopesticides have several advantages relating to safety, notably that they are low-risk compounds, they have short re-entry intervals and most don’t produce residues.

Chandler is also confident that some biopesticide products have proven potential in IPM – an EU initiative within the Sustainable Use Directive to promote low pesticide input management of crops.

But he concedes that the performance of some biopesticides is “sub-optimal” and concedes that, as a rule, the biopesticides already on the market are “less effective than standard chemical pesticides”, giving “variable levels of efficacy”.

There are also technical barriers to their use, Chandler said. “We need to improve things like application; we need to have better understanding of how environmental factors affect their use; and their compatibility with chemical pesticides needs better investigation.”

In an effort to tackle some of these challenges, Chandler is leading a project funded by the AHDB called AMBER (Application and Management of Biopesticides for Efficacy and Reliability). It aims to enable UK growers to adopt new practices that improve the performance of biopesticides within commercial IPM programmes.

The programme, which began in January 2016 and will run until 2020, will benchmark biopesticides that target pests in six different crops types, including aphids in peppers, whitefly in mint and powdery mildew in cucumbers.