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Archive for the ‘Pest diagnostics’ Category

PiercesDiseasePierce’s disease on grape

sharpshooterSharpshooter

UCDavis
Newly identified enzyme may be the culprit in Pierce’s disease grapevine damage
January 12, 2016

Printable version

http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/printable_news.lasso?id=11389&table=news

An enzyme appears to enable Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria to infect grapevines with Pierce’s disease, causing serious leaf damage. UC Davis plant scientists have identified an enzyme that appears to play a key role in the insect-transmitted bacterial infection of grapevines with Pierce’s disease, which annually costs California’s grape and wine industries more than $100 million.
The researchers hope that the discovery, which runs counter to existing theories, will lead to new diagnostics and potential treatments for Pierce’s disease. Their findings are reported in Scientific Reports, an online journal of the Nature Publishing Group.
“With a bacterial disease — much like cancer — if you understand how the virulent form spreads, you can better control or remove it, ” said Abhaya Dandekar, a professor of plant sciences and senior author on the study.
“We anticipate that this discovery could open new ways to think about dealing with Pierce’s disease and highlight other areas of immune response, in general, that haven’t yet been considered,” he said.
About Pierce’s disease
Pierce’s disease, first identified in the 1890s, is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa and is characterized by yellowed and browning leaves that eventually drop from the vine. The disease is transmitted from vine to vine by small, winged insects called sharpshooters.
Pierce’s disease is established in Northern California, where it is transmitted by the blue-green sharpshooter, which lives near rivers and streams. The disease became a serious threat to California agriculture in 1996 when the glassywinged sharpshooter — another Pierce’s disease carrier native to the Southwest — was discovered in the Temecula Valley of Southern California.
How infection progresses
It’s been known for a number of years that when Xyllela fastidiosa invades a grapevine, it produces a biofilm or gel in the xylem — the vascular tissue that transports water and some nutrients throughout the vine.
Scientists have theorized that this biofilm damages the vine by clogging up the xylem, preventing the flow of water to the leaves. That theory seemed to explain the yellowing of the leaf edges and eventual death of the leaf tissue.
But not all of the evidence stacked up to fit that theory, Dandekar said. For example a heavy accumulation of Xyllela fastidiosa in grapevine leaves was not always accompanied by severe disease symptoms in leaves. And, in some infected grapevines as well as other host plants, the leaves showed severe symptoms but the xylem had very little blockage.
So Dandekar and colleagues set out to investigate an alternative mechanism by which Xyllela fastidiosa might be wreaking havoc with the vine’s physiology.
Secrets of the “secretome”
The research team began by analyzing the bacteria’s secretome — the entire collection of enzymes and other proteins secreted by a disease-causing agent like Xyllela fastidiosa during the infection process. Such secreted proteins are known to play key roles in triggering many plant diseases.
The resulting data indicated that an enzyme, which the researchers named LesA, was quite abundant during Xyllela fastidiosa infections and shared characteristics with similar enzymes known to be capable of breaking down plant cell walls.
The researchers went on to confirm their suspicions by demonstrating that a mutant strain of Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria — with a specific gene knocked out, or inactivated — lacked the ability to cause infection in grapevines.
“The LesA enzyme has the ability to move through cell membranes, equipping the Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria to invade the grapevine and to live in its xylem tissues, where it feeds on fatlike compounds called lipids,” Dandekar says.
In this way, the LesA enzyme triggers the process that causes the typical Pierce’s disease leaf damage — a process completely unrelated to the xylem blockage and water stress that had previously been thought to cause the symptomatic leaf damage.
The research for the newly published study was conducted by Rafael Nascimento and Hossein Gouran, both graduate students in Dandekar’s laboratory. Dandekar said that his research team plans to move forward with Pierce’s disease research in hopes of developing ways to counteract the disease.

Funding for the newly published study was provided by the Pierce’s Disease Board of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Additional information:
• Related: Fused genes tackle deadly Pierce’s disease in grapevines
• Related: UC Davis cracks the walnut genome
• Related: Springtime for wheat starts with a gene that ‘sees’ light
Media contact(s):
• Abhaya Dandekar, Plant Sciences, (530) 752-7784, amdandekar@ucdavis.edu
• Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu

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Grahame Jackson
24 Alt street
Queens Park
NSW 2022
Australia

Phone: +612 9387 8030
Mobile: +61 412 994 206
Skype: gvhjackson

www.pestnet.orgwww.pestnet.org

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Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries

Field Guide

 

Cover of the Field Guide to Pests, Beneficials, Diseases and Disorders of Vegetables in northern Australia

This field guide provides easy and quick access to text and images to assist with the identification of pests and disease symptoms in the field. Correct identification of pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders is important in helping to minimise crop damage and when considering management options. The guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology, monitoring and pest management.
This field guide is an invaluable resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students. It is available in both English and Vietnamese printed versions or can be downloaded below.
How to get a copy of the Field Guide

1. Download a PDF Version of the Field Guide
English Print version PDF – 14.8MB | Online version PDF – 90.1 MB
Vietnamese PDF 6.7MB
2. Request a printed version
tel: 08 8999 2258 or email haidee.brown@nt.gov.au
About the Field Guide

This publication is the first comprehensive field guide to pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders of commercially grown vegetables in the Northern Territory. The information has been derived from more than 20 years research and extension experience with commercial vegetable crops by staff of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Horticulture, within the Plant Industries Group, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. The vegetable field guide is a useful resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students.
The format of the book has been designed to provide easy and quick access to assist in the recognition of pests, diseases or symptoms in the field. Each opening includes text on the left page and photographs on the right page. The tabs along the right edge are labelled and colour-coded, making it easier to navigate.
Due to regular updates and changes in the recommendations of pesticides, specific products have not been listed. However, growers are encouraged to contact Department staff if they require assistance with pest or disease management.
Information regarding pesticide registrations is available from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website.
A comprehensive Agvet chemical database is available free online from Infopest which is owned and managed by Growcom.
Monitoring and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Growers are encouraged to use this guide as a resource to assist in the identification of pests and their natural enemies as well as diseases and disorders when monitoring vegetable crops. Correct identification of pests and diseases is important when considering management options. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the management of pest populations using all relevant control practices in a complementary manner, so that the pest will be maintained below the economic injury level and adverse effects to the environment will be minimal. When diseases are incorporated, IPM is referred to as integrated pest and disease management (IPDM).
The majority of vegetables are grown over the ‘dry season’ (May to September) and many pests and diseases are suited to the dry and warm conditions with mean temperatures in the range of 15-36°C (for the Darwin area). The ‘build-up’ to the wet season starts in September and higher temperatures and humidity is generally experienced. Most of the rainfall occurs in the ‘wet season’ between October to April.
This guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology along with colour photographs to help recognise and distinguish pests from beneficials (which includes natural enemies that attack pests as well as pollinators). Since beneficials help regulate the levels of pests, it is important to monitor pest numbers to assess the level of natural control by predators or parasites before considering other pest management options. Regular monitoring of the crop will assist in the detection of pests and diseases, as well as providing an indication of the change in populations or spread of symptoms.
Departmental contact information

Entomology (pests and beneficials)
Telephone: 08 8999 2258
Email: insectinfo@nt.gov.au
Plant Pathology (plant diseases and disorders)
Telephone: 08 8999 2265
Email: plant.pathology@nt.gov.au
Horticulture (growing advice)
Telephone: 08 8999 2222
Email: horticulture@nt.gov.au

http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Primary_Industry/index.cfm?header=Vegetable%20Field%20Guide

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fruit flya286fe2be5

 

 

 

Photo: ©USDA/Scott Bauer.
A female oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) laying eggs in the skin of a papaya.

 

Research findings should reduce trade barriers and boost pest control measures

28 October 2014, Rome/Vienna – Four of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same fruit fly, according to the results of a global research effort released today. The discovery should lead to the easing of certain international trade restrictions and also aid efforts to combat the ability of these harmful insects to reproduce, experts said.

The so-called Oriental, Philippine, Invasive and Asian Papaya fruit flies, the study shows, all belong to the same biological species, Bactrocera dorsalis, which is causing incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.

The international collaborative effort, involving close to 50 researchers from 20 countries, began in 2009 and was coordinated by FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It followed an integrative approach, examining evidence across a range of disciplines.

The ability to precisely identify pests is central to pest management, including quarantine measures or bans applied to internationally traded food and agriculture products such as fruit and vegetables.

Keeping exotic fruit flies out is a major concern for many countries. The study’s findings mean that trade restrictions linked to the Oriental fruit fly should now fall away in cases where the insect is present in both the importing and exporting country, according to Jorge Hendrichs from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in Vienna.

“This outcome has major implications for global plant biosecurity, especially for developing countries in Africa and Asia,” said the study’s lead author, Mark Schutze, from the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“For example, the Invasive –now Oriental — fruit fly has devastated African fruit production with crop losses exceeding 80 percent and has led to widespread trade restrictions with refusal of shipments of products into Asia, Europe and Japan, and significant economic and social impacts on farming communities,” Schutze added.

Using sterilized males to mate with wild females

The findings of the study will also simplify techniques like the use of sterilized males to prevent the growth of pest populations.

A form of insect birth control, the sterile insect technique involves releasing mass-bred male flies that have been sterilized by low doses of radiation into infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, the technique can suppress, if applied systematically on an area-wide basis, populations of wild flies in an environmentally friendly way. The FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratories have demonstrated that the four fruit flies freely interbreed, which means that instead of using males from the four supposedly different species, mass-produced sterile Oriental fruit fly males can now be used against all the different populations of this major pest.

“Globally, accepting these four pests as a single species will lead to reduced barriers to international trade, improved pest management, facilitated transboundary international cooperation, more effective quarantine measures, the wider application of established post-harvest treatments, improved fundamental research and, most importantly, enhanced food security for some of the world’s poorest nations,” Schutze said.

The findings of the FAO/IAEA coordinated study, published in the journal Systematic Entomology means that the four, previously considered distinct fruit-fly species, will now be combined under the single name: Bactrocera dorsalis, the Oriental fruit fly.

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sci dev logo

http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/news/tool-to-identify-african-rice-weeds-created.html

[COTONOU, BENIN] Researchers have launched a free interactive tool that can be used to identify nearly 200 weeds that harm rice production in Africa.

The tool, which has been launched by agricultural research institutions AfricaRice and the Centre for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD), can be accessed online and offline on laptops and CD-ROMs or as an application on smartphones and tablet computers.

People such as researchers, students and farmers can use the tool to identify weed species that affect the rice farming lowlands in East and West Africa.

“The tool works through a schematic image of a [weed] plant where, for different plant parts, you can select shape, colour and other characteristics,” according to AfricaRice weed scientist Jonne Rodenburg. “By selecting characteristics for different [weed] plant parts, the number of likely species gradually decreases.”

After identifying the specific weed, he said, users can use a database to select appropriate interventions. “The tool will guide the user to information on its biology, ecology and management,” he said. “The database contains species-specific weed management advice. In most cases, the advice is categorised according to weed categories. For instance, broad-leaved weeds, grasses, sedges, parasitic weeds, aquatic weeds, perennial weeds and annual weeds.”

People with specific questions, Rodenburg told SciDev.Net when journalists attending the First West Africa Science Journalists Conference last month (26-28 November) visited AfricaRice’s headquarters, can also access online weed science network Weedsbook for more documents and the possibility to interact with weeds scientists across the continent or even around the world.

The researchers, who worked in close collaboration on the project with the African Weeds of Rice project financed by the European Union and the Africa Caribbean Pacific Science and Technology Programme, took three years to produce the tool.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, weeds cause estimated annual rice production losses of at least 2.2 million tonnes and US$1.45 billion, equivalent to 10 million hectares of rice annually, said Rodenburg.

But Antoine Adidéhou, permanent secretary of the Council of Rice Farmers in Benin said that many rice that farmers lacked the computer skills or Internet access and so would find it hard to make use of this valuable resource.

“They will have some difficulties in trying to make good use of this tool,” he said.

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Logo for IPM CRSP

Annual Report 2013
Posted on May 27, 2014 by Kelly Izlar
The IPM Innovation Labs’s FY 2013 (October 1, 2012–September 30, 2013) annual report is now available. Click below to download the document.

http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmcrsp/publications/annual-reports/annual-report-2013/

For users with lower bandwidth and/or with interest in only certain specific topic areas, we will split individual chapters and major sections out of the Annual Report for you to view individually. Check back in the coming weeks for a list of individual chapters and sections for download. For more information contact: rmuni@vt.edu

Table of Contents

Management Entity Message
Highlights and Achievements in 2012–2013

Regional Programs
Latin America and the Caribbean
East Africa
West Africa
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Central Asia

Global Programs
Parthenium
International Plant Diagnostic Network (IPDN)
International Plant Virus Disease Network (IPVDN)
Impact Assessment
Gender Equity, Knowledge, and Capacity Building

Associate & Buy-In Awards
Indonesia
Nepal
Bangladesh

Training and Publications
Short- and Long-Term Training
Publications

Appendices: Collaborating Institutions and Acronyms

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Editor’s note: As a subscriber this is a message that I received from the LUCID Team, Brisbane Australia. For more information about the LUCID products for pest identification please go to: www.lucidcentral.org

E.A. “Short” Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

————————————————–

Image

From: Lucid Team [mailto:noreply@lucidcentral.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:53 AM
To: Elvis Heinrichs
Subject: NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR LUCID AND LUCIDCENTRAL

Dear Elvis ,
NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR LUCID AND LUCIDCENTRAL
As a subscriber or user of www.lucidcentral.org we wish to make you aware of new arrangements regarding the development, maintenance, and support of Lucid software and related products.
For the past 15 years the Lucid team has been based at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. As of the 1st July 2014, the Lucid team of Matt Taylor, Damian Barnier, Mike Rickerby and Geoff Norton will operate from a newly created company – “Identic” – based in Brisbane.
The University of Queensland has transferred all Intellectual Property associated with Lucid and other products to this newly formed company. Therefore as a Lucid user you will not notice any significant difference in your relationship with us. The Lucidcentral web site will remain the same, your registration on the site will be maintained, and information and support services will continue as usual.
Over the next 6 months we plan to upgrade a number of our products and to increase the number of Lucid keys available as Android and iOS apps and will keep you informed of these developments.
If you wish to contact us about future Lucid developments or projects, please contact Matt Taylor using – matt@lucidcentral.org. Or you can always get in contact with us through the Lucidcentral support page or via our support@lucidcentral.org email address.
We look forward to providing you with our software and services into the future.

Regards,

The Lucid Team

 

 

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NEWSWISE

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/618448/?sc=swtn

Columbia Engineering computer scientists launch electronic field guide to North American birds

Released: 5/28/2014 9:05 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Is it a Crow or a Raven? New Birdsnap App Will Tell You!
Newswise — New York, NY—May 27, 2014—Researchers at Columbia Engineering, led by Computer Science Professor Peter Belhumeur, have taken bird-watching to a new level. Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, they have developed Birdsnap, a new iPhone app that is an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The free app, which enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, accompanies a visually beautiful, comprehensive website that includes some 50,000 images. Birdsnap, which also features birdcalls for each species, offers users numerous ways to organize species—alphabetically, by their relationship in the Tree of Life, and by the frequency with which they are sighted at a particular place and season. The researchers, who collaborated with colleagues at the University of Maryland, are presenting their work at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Columbus, OH, June 24 to 27.
“Our goal is to use computer vision and artificial intelligence to create a digital field guide that will help people learn to recognize birds,” says Belhumeur, who launched Leafsnap, a similar electronic field guide for trees, with colleagues two years ago. “We’ve been able to take an incredible collection of data—thousands of photos of birds—and use technology to organize the data in a useful and fun way.”
Belhumeur and his colleague, Computer Science Professor David Jacobs of the University of Maryland, realized that many of the techniques they have developed for face recognition, in work spanning more than a decade, could also be applied to automatic species identification. State-of-the-art face recognition algorithms rely on methods that find correspondences between comparable parts of different faces, so that, for example, a nose is compared to a nose, and an eye to an eye. Birdsnap works the same way, detecting the parts of a bird so that it can examine the visual similarity of its comparable parts (each species is labeled through the location of 17 parts). It automatically discovers visually similar species and makes visual suggestions for how they can be distinguished.
“Categorization is one of the fundamental problems of computer vision,” says Thomas Berg, a Columbia Engineering computer science PhD candidate who works closely with Belhumeur. “Recently, there’s been a lot of progress in fine-grained visual categorization, the recognition of—and distinguishing between—categories that look very similar. What’s really exciting about Birdsnap is that not only does it do well at identifying species, but it can also identify which parts of the bird the algorithm uses to identify each species. Birdsnap then automatically annotates images of the bird to show these distinctive parts—birders call them ‘field marks’—so the user can learn what to look for.”
The team designed what they call “part-based one-vs-one features,” or POOFs, each of which classifies birds of just two species, based on a small part of the body of the bird. The system builds hundreds of POOFs for each pair of species, each based on a different part of the bird, and chooses the parts used by the most accurate POOFs as field marks. Birdsnap also uses POOFs for identification of uploaded images.
The team also took advantage of the fact that modern cameras, especially those on phones, embed the date and location in their images and used that information to improve classification accuracy. Not only did they come up with a fully automatic method to teach users how to identify visually similar species, but they also designed a system that can pinpoint which birds are arriving, departing, or migrating. “You can ID birds in the U.S. wherever you are at any time of year,” Berg notes.
The Leafsnap app, which involved costly time and resources spent in collecting and photographing thousands of leaves, took almost 10 years to develop and now has more than a million users. Belhumeur got Birdsnap going in about six months, thanks to the proliferation of online data sources and advances in computer vision and mobile computing. Photos were downloaded from the Internet, with species labels confirmed by workers on Amazon Mechanical Turk, who also labeled the parts. Descriptions were sourced through Wikipedia. The maps were based on data from eBird, a joint venture of Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, and BirdLife, an international network of conservation groups.
Belhumeur hopes next to work with Columbia Engineering colleagues on adding the ability to recognize bird songs, bringing audio and visual recognition together. He also wants to create “smart” binoculars that use this artificial intelligence technology to identify and tag species within the field of view.
“Biological domains—whether trees, dogs, or birds—where taxonomy dictates a clear set of subcategories, are wonderfully well-suited to the problem of fine-grained visual categorization,” Belhumeur observes. “With all the advances in computer vision and information collection, it’s an exciting time to be immersed in visual recognition and big data.”
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.

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