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Mar. 22, 2013

Plant pathologists meet in Tokyo

Dr. David Guest, professor from the University of Sydney, Australia discusses important issues on emerging infectious diseases to fellow workshop participants. He also delivered the keynote lecture on "The Risk of Emerging Plant Diseases to Food Security".
Unknown to ordinary folks, there are new plant diseases which even plant pathologists cannot fully explain let alone find solutions to its control or cure. What used to be easy to detect has now become a complex web of symptoms in the food crops world, with no concrete control measures in the horizon.

 Red stripe, for one, is one of the typical Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) in rice which has been found in Indonesia in 1987 and has been spreading all over Southeast Asia. Since its first appearance has been reported, the disease has likewise spread to Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand after a couple of years. In Vietnam, a total of 64,200-ha paddy was infected by red stripe in 1990, but has increased to 199,000-ha the following year and is still increasing.

 In horticultural crops, bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is one of the EIDs, which basically occurs and causes problems in tropical and subtropical areas. Recently, this disease is spreading and brings about disastrous damages in both southern and northern Japan.

 These emerging infectious plant diseases have started to wipe out agricultural plantations in different parts of Asia causing real threats to food security. Experts have started to look at the issue seriously.

To read the full article, go to our publications database and click on Newsletter 178

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