Archive for the ‘Viruses’ Category


If you’re an ag retailer and you’re reading this report, I’d guess it’s fair to assume you’ve at least considered adding biopesticide products to your crop protection lineup.

My assumption is part idealism, part result of our 2017 CropLife® Biological Product Market Survey, which was sent to 29,000 ag retailers and other industry members nationwide. In the survey 67% of respondents said they plan to “increase the percentage of biological products” they sell/distribute in the future. Additionally, nearly half (49%) affirmed that their customers apply biologicals as “both seed treatments and topicals.”

Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) is one such company finding success with seed-applied biological products. Dan Custis, CEO of the Van Wert, OH-based company, has been involved in the biologicals segment of the industry for almost 18 years now. He says that when the company first started marketing biologicals back in 2000 there was “very little adoption at all. Very little.”

“A lot of the types of products that we manufacture were referred to as kind of a bathtub mixture, or ‘Foo-foo Dust’,” Custis fondly recalls. “As we really got into it, we as a company put a lot of science and knowledge behind it.”

Ah yes, another aspect of biological products addressed in the survey. By far the top consensus among those surveyed was that biological products engender a “lack of trust around product performance” while a sizeable 72% of retailers responded that biopesticide products need “more research that demonstrates product effectiveness.”

At ABM, Custis says the company has research that shows about a seven bushel-per-acre yield increase over a five-year average on corn, and in soybeans that number is around two-and-a-half bushels per acre. Its top biopesticide, the seed-applied SabrEx (two strains of Trichoderma) is typically either applied downstream at the retailer, or on-farm by the grower. The company does work with some seed manufacturers as well, such as local Ohio seed company Rupp.

“We know that maybe we get six weeks of benefit at most from a chemical seed treatment depending on weather, unless it’s a systemic,” Custis says. “What biologicals bring to the table is the extension of that plant health beyond the six weeks. Biologicals are a living organism, they should be able to live on the root system of that plant up through flowering.”

ABM’s SabrEx is distributed via the traditional crop input retail channels, through well-known players such as Crop Production Services, WinField Uni­ted, Wil­bur-Ellis, and KOVA of Ohio. Production and formulation take place in Van Wert, while research & development is housed in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York in Geneva.

“Right now in R&D we’re taking a look at nematode control in soybeans and corn, that’s one of the products that we have committed to EPA for approval right now,” Custis shares. “That (product) would be a first, and we’ve certainly got other things in the pipeline that I’m not able to talk about at the moment.”

Where do others see the biopesticide industry headed in the next couple years? Again, we consult our survey responses, and with nearly three-fourths (72%) saying their customers prefer to apply biologicals not as one-off standalones, but actually in conjunction with conventional products. Well-known Iowa State University seed treatment expert Allison Robertson agrees.

“There has been quite a lot of work looking at biologicals, not as stand-alone treatments, but in partnership with treatments that address pathogens in the field,” she shared back in August. “In addition, nematicides have been developed recently to help fight off soybean nematodes.”

Which provides a perfect segue to discuss post-patent giant Albaugh and its intriguing BIOst system, which Director of Global Proprietary Products Chad Shelton describes as “the first complete biological seed treatment platform.”

“What’s really exciting for retailers,” he continues. “Is our BIOst 100 nematicide, which can be combined with synthetic chemistries to give both insect and nematode protection. This is the first biological nematicide registered for control of both soil dwelling pests, along with activity on nematodes. And when we combine that with a neonic seed treatment it’s giving the grower a better return-on-investment (ROI).”

That’s a trend Shelton is seeing play out more and more in the row crop biologicals space in the last couple years, shifting the deployment of biopesticides from one-off products to more integrated usage with conventional hard chemistries.

“It’s no longer about having one mode of action, or a specific agronomic response in the marketplace. To me that’s the biggest change,” he shares. “When you have biopesticides in combination with synthetics at a reduced rate you’re going to get enhanced performance plus ROI.”

Another area that Albaugh is focusing attention is developing products with what Shelton describes as “customization based on microclimate.”

“Our goal today is to customize seed treatment technologies based on micro climate and (regional) needs,” he adds.



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Science Daily

 Linking virus sensing with gene expression, a plant immune system course-corrects
March 6, 2018
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Plant immune systems, like those of humans and animals, face a difficult balancing act: they must mount responses against ever-evolving pathogens, but they must not overdo it. Immune responses require energy and resources and often involve plants killing their own infected cells to prevent the pathogens from spreading.

Researchers at Durham University in the UK have identified a crucial link in the process of how plants regulate their antiviral responses. The research is published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Martin Cann’s lab at Durham, in collaboration with the laboratories of Aska Goverse at Wageningen University and Frank Takken at the University of Amsterdam, studied a receptor protein called Rx1, which is found in potato plants and detects infection by a virus called potato virus X.

Binding to a protein from the virus activates Rx1 and starts a chain of events that results in the plant mounting an immune response. But the exact sequence of cellular events — and how Rx1 activation was translated into action by the rest of the cell — was unknown.

“Our study revealed an exciting, and unexpected, link between pathogen attack and plant DNA,” Cann said.

Specifically, the study showed that Rx1 joins forces with a protein called Glk1. Glk1 is a transcription factor, meaning it binds to specific regions of DNA and activates genes involved in cell death and other plant immune responses. The team found that when Glk1 bound to virus-activated Rx1, it was able to turn on the appropriate defense genes.

Interestingly, when the viral protein was absent, Rx1 seemed to have the opposite effect — actually keeping Glk1 from binding to DNA. In this way, it prevented an inappropriate immune response.

“The immune response involves reprogramming the entire cell and also often the entire plant,” Cann said. “An important part of this regulatory process is not only allowing activation but also making sure the entire system is switched off in the absence of infection.”

As over a third of the annual potential global crop harvest is lost to pathogens and pests, breeding plants with better immune systems is an important challenge. Understanding how this immune system is regulated at the appropriate level of activity gives the researchers more ideas of points in the immune signaling pathway that could targeted to increase the plant’s baseline ability to resist disease.

“To increase (crop) yield, there is an urgent need for new varieties that are resilient to these stresses,” Cann said. “A mechanistic understanding of how plants resist or overcome pathogen attack is crucial to develop new strategies for crop protection.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Philip D. Townsend, Christopher H. Dixon, Erik J. Slootweg, Octavina C. A. Sukarta, Ally W. H. Yang, Timothy R. Hughes, Gary J. Sharples, Lars-Olof Pålsson, Frank L. W. Takken, Aska Goverse, Martin J. Cann. The intracellular immune receptor Rx1 regulates the DNA-binding activity of a Golden2-like transcription factor. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018; 293 (9): 3218 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.000485

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Linking virus sensing with gene expression, a plant immune system course-corrects.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180306153726.htm>.

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ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research

Arka Rakshak: High yielding triple disease resistant tomato F1 hybrid with export potential

Arka Rakshak: High yielding triple disease resistant tomato F1 hybrid with export potential Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is the second most important vegetable crop in India next only to potato. In India, it is cultivated over an area of 8.79 lakh hectares with a production of 182.26 lakh tonnes. The average productivity is about 20.7 tonnes per hectare. Andra Pradesh, Odissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Chhatishgarh and Gujarat are the major tomato-growing states in India. In recent years the occurrence of major diseases such as Tomato leaf curl virus (ToLCV), bacterial wilt (BW) and early blight (EB) have become very serious causing considerable yield loss in major tomato growing areas of the country. Due to ToLCV, yield loss has been reported up to 70-100% depending on the stage of attack, bacterial wilt has been reported to cause yield loss up to 70%, where as, early blight has become very serious on foliage and fruits causing yield loss up to 50-60%. DSCF1192 2 Leaf curling due toToLCV Sudden wilting due to BW Scan790 DSC01838 Concentric rings- symptoms on leaf & fruits due to EB Adoption of multiple disease resistant tomato variety / F1 hybrid is the most practical way to combat these serious diseases as no chemical application can effectively control them. Research efforts were carried out for several years at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore and a high yielding tomato F1 hybrid “Arka Rakshak” was bred with triple disease resistance to ToLCV + BW + EB by crossing an advanced breeding line bred at IIHR with another breeding line bred at Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), Taiwan. This is the first multiple disease resistant public bred tomato F1 hybrid released for commercial cultivation in the country. Interdisciplinary approach involving a breeder, virologist, bacteriologist, pathologist and molecular biologist was successfully adopted to breed Arka Rakshak . Further efforts are on the way to introgress late blight resistance genes in to Arka Rakshak back ground through Marker Assisted Breeding. Salient Features of Arka Rakshak Arka Rakshak: A High yielding F1 hybrid with triple disease resistance to tomato leaf curl virus, bacterial wilt and early blight. Plants are semi-determinate with dark green foliar cover. Fruits are oblong with light green shoulder. Fruits are medium to large size (80-100g), deep red, very firm with good keeping quality (15-20 days) and long transportability. Bred for both fresh market and processing. Suitable for summer, kharif and rabi seasons. Yields 90-100 tons per hectare in 140-150 days. Arka Rakshak- High yielding triple disease resistant F1 hybrid with excellent fruit quality attributes Updated on 01.08.2014

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Originally posted on The Invasives Blog: CABI scientists have today raised concerns that an attack on the world’s banana production is worse than first feared, with a perfect storm of three pests having the potential to decimate around $35 billion worth of crops. Biosecurity experts at CABI believe the effects of the fungus known as…

via Triple attack on bananas could devastate $35bn global industry — The Plantwise Blog

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Vietnam news

Thái Bình: Gần 18.000ha lúa nhiễm bệnh lùn sọc đen

Ban Thời sựThứ hai, ngày 02/10/2017 08:40 GMT+7

Ảnh minh họa

VTV.vn – Tỉnh Thái Bình hiện đã ghi nhận gần 18.000ha lúa mùa nhiễm bệnh lùn sọc đen.

  •  Từ cuối tháng 7, hiện tượng lúa lùn lụi đã xuất hiện rải rác ở nhiều đồng nhưng các cán bộ chuyên môn và bà con nông dân cho rằng lúa bị nghẹt rễ do ngộ độc hữu cơ nên chỉ tập trung xử lý bệnh lý này.

Đến khi phát hiện bệnh lùn sọc đen diện tích lúa bị nhiễm đã rất lớn. Hiện nay, việc xử lý nhổ bỏ, tiêu hủy những khóm lúa bị bệnh nặng đang là vấn đề lớn đối với bà con nông dân.

Bệnh lùn sọc đen trên lúa bùng phát ở Quảng Trị Bệnh lùn sọc đen trên lúa bùng phát ở Quảng Trị

VTV.vn – Bệnh rầy lưng trắng trên lúa, bệnh bạc lá, đặc biệt là bệnh lùn sọc đen đang bùng phát mạnh tại Quảng Trị.

* Mời quý độc giả theo dõi các chương trình đã phát sóng của Đài Truyền hình Việt Nam trên TV Online!

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SE farm press


crumplevirus UGA CAES
Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a disease carried by whiteflies, infects vegetable plants like squash.

Whitefly influx puts hurt on Georgia vegetables

High populations of whiteflies over the past few years had a tremendous impact on Georgia’s vegetable crops in both the spring and the fall.

Julie Jernigan | Oct 03, 2017

Summer may have ended, but Georgia’s silverleaf whitefly infestation has not.

Timothy Coolong, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist, researches whitefly management in an effort to prevent the pest from infecting Georgia’s vegetable crops with viral diseases, like cucurbit leaf crumple virus and tomato yellow leaf curl virus.

Whiteflies are found on vegetable plants, like yellow squash, zucchini and green beans. Last fall, Georgia vegetable growers lost 40 to 50 percent of their yellow squash production. Green bean growers saw similar production losses due to the cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a disease carried by whiteflies.

Also known as “Aleyrodidae,” whiteflies are tiny, winged insects often found on the underside of leaves. They leave behind a tacky substance called “honeydew” that prevents plants from carrying out photosynthesis and causes fungal infections.Coolong and other scientists on the team tested several treatments on yellow squash and zucchini in an attempt to make the plants grow fast enough to tolerate the virus, which might prevent whiteflies from swarming. One application focuses on high fertilizer rates and another uses gibberellic acid to promote foliar development early in the growing process.

“Researching different control methods for whiteflies is important, not only because of the direct damage they can do to crops, but to stop the viruses that they can spread,” Coolong said.

Early control is key to prevention of the viruses spread by whiteflies. Farmers must proceed with caution in working on some of the most susceptible crops because of the losses that have been sustained the past two years, according to Coolong.

“Squash alone is close to a $60 million industry (in Georgia). We suffered significant losses in the fall of 2016 and are seeing losses again this fall. Growers need to have a plan for management before the seed emerges or a plant comes out of the greenhouse,” Coolong said. “Whiteflies can be very devastating.”

Whiteflies thrive in warm, humid climates, and they reproduce quickly. The warmer-than-normal winter that Georgia experienced last year helped whitefly populations multiply. In normal years, Coolong recommends using insecticides as a management tool. Given the current conditions in Georgia, he warns growers that they may not completely wipe out the whitefly population with insecticides alone.

“In a normal year, insecticides would be very effective, but this year the whitefly population is high,” Coolong said. “Even if a product works and kills 90 percent of the population in a field, they will return because of how fast they can reproduce, and all the plants surrounding those fields serve as hosts for the whitefly.”

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FTF logo

Field days show Ugandan farmers hope in disease-resistant varieties

By Allison Floyd
University of Georgia, Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

Planting an unimproved variety of peanut in Uganda was a recipe for disaster this year. Groundnut rosette disease (GRD), an aphid-borne virus that causes mottling and affects much of sub-Saharan Africa, took 80% to 100% of the yield in some fields planted with a traditional variety.

The difficult season made farmers even more interested in two recent field-day events held in Uganda, where they could see the results coming from fields planted with improved varieties resistant to GRD.

Farmers check out peanut-growing guides at one of two recent Field Day trainings in Uganda.

One woman, a farmer named Adong Christine borrowed $7,000 from a bank and planted 20 acres with a local variety. At the end of the season, she harvested just two bags of peanuts (from a potential 400 bags) and could not repay the loan.

“There had been an outcry of big losses as most of the capital were borrowed from loan institutions. This event showcasing improved groundnut varieties therefore was timely as it restored hopes and enhanced adoption,” organizers said.

David Okello, the head of Uganda’s national groundnut research program and a leading scientist on PMIL’s breeding project, is behind many of the varieties. Based at the National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI) in Serere District, Okello works to create varieties that are high yielding, resistant to drought and GRD, and to educate farmers about practices that will give them more success with their peanut crop.

Peanuts are a traditional crop in Uganda and much of sub-Saharan Africa, are high-protein and valuable as a cash crop. Still, GRD is a persistent problem that stunts the growth of otherwise healthy plants and can destroy a crop if the disease strikes early enough in the season before flowering.

A woman farmer picks up some bags of seed at Field Days in the Nwoya District of Uganda. At the end of a particularly bad season for disease, many farmers made the investment to buy small bags of improved seed.

At one of two field days, 61 farmers, researchers and representatives of local government visited a 5.6-acre plot planted with three varieties bred for their resistance to GRD and leaf-spot, Serenut 9T (Aber), Serenut 14R and Serenut 5R. While participants could see for themselves the success of the varieties, farmers in the Loyo Kwo group, who are using the new varieties, explained their agronomic practices, where they get seed and how NaSARRI trainings helped improve their results.

“Heart breaking and sad testimonies came from the farmers growing local varieties,” Okello said. “The Loyo Kwo group members, on the other hand, were boasting of bumper harvests, higher income and improved livelihoods that they are experiencing from adopting the improved groundnut varieties,” Okello  said

Uganda Field DaysLeoora Okidi (centre) shows her approval of the high yield of Serenut 11T, an improved variety during a Field Day in August 2017 in the Kiteny Pader District of Uganda.


Farmers were able to buy small packs of .5 kg to 3 kg., and the NaSARRI team delivered 45 kgs of Serenut 8R (Achieng), a large-seeded red variety that had been previously promised.

In a second field day, farmers spent part of a religious holiday – the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to Heaven – visiting test plots, learning about improved production practices and visiting a farm where the owner planted Serenut 5R and Serenut 11T alongside the local Red Beauty variety.

Uganda Field Days crowdA crowd of farmers fan out over a field at a recent Field Days event comparing the yield and disease resistance of improved lines and varieties over the traditional, unimproved types, which have been ravaged by rosette disease this year.


The farmer, Leonora Okidi, planted 2 of her 5 acres with an improved variety, and the other 3 acres with the local variety. She abandoned the local variety after the first weeding since most of the plants had been severely attacked by the rosette virus.

In a good year, she is able to feed and educate her 11 own children and support 25 others from her groundnut operation, which is part of a women-led group called Pur Lonyo or “Farming is Wealth,” she said.

Okidi first connected with Okello through her son, who he mentored in his diploma and bachelor’s degree studies and still supervises in his current master’s degree studies. She offered land to host demonstration plots and participatory variety trials and co-funded the operations using her family labour.

“The superiority of our improved lines and varieties over her local varieties caught her attention and (Okidi) quickly adopted these improved varieties and has become a model research farmer in the village,” Okello said. “Through this effort our improved varieties adoption rates has increased and we are closely working with her women group to upscale these successes, improve their livelihoods and increase varieties adoption.”

– Published Sept. 1, 2017

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