Natural Pest Control
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Natural Pest Control
Using natural enemies, predators or parasites of plant pests and other wise methods of pest control
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BBSRC Feature: Using their genes against them: Fighting insect pests with genetic targeting (2013)

BBSRC Feature: Using their genes against them: Fighting insect pests with genetic targeting (2013) | Natural Pest Control | Scoop.it

When you look out on a golden-yellow field of oilseed rape you might not think you're seeing a battleground, but crops including oilseed rape, wheat, potato and tomato are engaged in a constant fight with pests and disease, trying to stay one step ahead.

As the world's human population looks set to increase to nine billion people by 2050, keeping plants healthy and productive is going to be essential to making sure there is enough food to go round.Aphids damage crops by feeding on them and transmitting plant diseases. "Crop pests are emerging earlier due to global warming and new variants are arriving from other countries, bringing new plant viruses", said Dr Saskia Hogenhout from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich, an institute strategically funded by the BBSRC.

 

Among these pests whitefly and green peach aphids cause hundreds of millions of pounds of damage and loss to crops through transmitting viruses and feeding. Both species are notorious for demonstrating the ability to rapidly develop resistance to conventional pesticides, and both attack a wide variety of crops, including cabbage, lettuce, beet, oilseed rape and potato. In UK cereal crops aphids alone can cause yield losses of over 40 per cent, and insect pests are responsible for an estimated 15 per cent of all crop losses globally. Dr Hogenhout said: "The aphids and whitefly themselves are problematic but they also transmit more than half of all plant viruses. They're called the mosquitoes of plants because like mosquitoes they feed on the vascular system and they transmit quite a number of viruses."


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Knapco's curator insight, January 12, 2013 2:57 PM

Very promissing non-chemical method to combath aphid and whitefly species in the future! Whiteflies suffer from an identity crisis, as they are not flies at all, in appearance they resemble tiny, pure white 'moths' but are in fact, closely related to sap-sucking aphids. Aphids and whiteflies can both cause severe damage to wide range of crops by sucking sap from the plant, resulting in damages of the leaves, as well as leaf loss, wilting and stunting. Not only do they feed on plants, but they also produce honeydew, which spoils the plants' appearance, attracts ants and black sooty mould. Both can also transmit different species of plant viruses, which cause further damage to crops. Until the gene silencing methods are applied, biologocial control could be used as alternative to insecticide's use.

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Don't destroy research · Sense about Science

Don't destroy research · Sense about Science | Natural Pest Control | Scoop.it

An appeal from scientists at the publicly funded research; calling for discussion not destruction of trials & research on GMO wheat and seeking support with the petition.

John Pickett, Scientific Leader of Chemical Ecology, Rothamsted Research: “On 27th May 2012 protesters are planning to destroy our Chemical Ecology group’s scientific research because it uses genetically modified wheat. Growing wheat has an environmental toll of extensive insecticide use to control aphid pests. The research, which is non-commercial, is investigating how to reduce that by getting the plants to repel aphids with a natural pheromone. We are appealing for protesters to call off the destruction and discuss the work.”


Sense about Science ?Equipping people to make sense of science and evidence...

...@SeedFeedFood

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Grafting Tomato to Manage Bacterial Wilt Caused by Ralstonia solanacearum in the Southeastern United States

Grafting Tomato to Manage Bacterial Wilt Caused by Ralstonia solanacearum in the Southeastern United States | Natural Pest Control | Scoop.it

Bacterial wilt, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, can result in severe losses to tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) growers in the southeastern United States, and grafting with resistant rootstocks may be an effective strategy for managing this disease.

Plant Disease, Volume 96, Issue 7, Page 973-978, July 2012.

By C. L. Rivard, Department of Plant Pathology, S. O'Connell and M. M. Peet, Department of Horticultural Science, and R. M. Welker and F. J. Louws, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-12-10-0877

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