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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) | newly discovered pests | 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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Video from the Borlaug GlobalRust Initiative: The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Presents: The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust.

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Plant Breeding and Genomics News's comment, November 14, 2012 11:57 AM
I have posted some of your links directly, without "rescooping" you, but I want to say thanks.
Mary Williams's comment, November 14, 2012 12:03 PM
No problem and you're welcome - I'm happy to share. We plant biologists have a greater goal than self-promotion :)
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PaDIL high quality diagnostic images

PaDIL high quality diagnostic images | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it

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Knapco's curator insight, September 17, 2013 10:15 AM
Australian Government offers PaDIL - a biodiversity and biosecurity information management system with delivering high quality diagnostic images. The infrastructure allows users to query datasets and to manage image database libraries. Use of the content is subject to terms and conditions.
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AGROMILLORA IN THE WORKSHOP 'NEW PERSPECTIVES IN PHYTOPLASMA DISEASE MANAGEMENT' , COST Action FA0807

AGROMILLORA IN THE WORKSHOP 'NEW PERSPECTIVES IN PHYTOPLASMA DISEASE MANAGEMENT' , COST Action FA0807 | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
RT @rootpac: AGROMILLORA in the workshop "New perspectives in phytoplasma disease management", COST Action FA0807 http://t.co/YIP7tB3WL7

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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) | newly discovered pests | 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."


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Knapco
more...
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.

Rescooped by Mary Amor Figueroa from newly discovered pests
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New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ...

New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ... | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
Adapting a novel form of insect resistance discovered in a wild plant native to Peru, Mutschler-Chu, professor of plant breeding and genetics, first isolated the resistance. She found that it was mediated by droplets of sugar ...

Via Knapco, Mary Amor Figueroa
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Knapco's curator insight, April 6, 2013 3:08 PM

Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans.

They also transmit such diseases as the tomato spotted wilt virus, causing millions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops each year.

 

The Cornell thrips-resistant tomato lines, with and without the virus resistance genes, will be used by Mutschler-Chu and an interdisciplinary team of eight other scientists from seven other institutions nationwide as part of a new five-year, $3.75 million project to control thrips and TOSPO viruses in tomatoes.

Mary Amor Figueroa's comment, May 8, 2013 8:01 AM
it was mediated by droplets of sugar esters, called acylsugars, that are produced and exuded from hairs (trichomes) that cover the plants.

The acylsugars don’t kill the insects, but deter them from feeding or laying eggs on the plants.

The process does not require genetic modification and is completely safe.
Knapco's comment, May 12, 2013 2:17 PM
Thanks for additional information!
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Construction of Marker-free Bivalent Expression Vector for Potato Antivirus Transformation

Construction of Marker-free Bivalent Expression Vector for Potato Antivirus Transformation | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it

Potato Leafroll Virus (PLRV) and Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTVd) are pathogenes which cause cultivars degeneratation and yield reduction of potato,and spread extensively. Previous researches indicated that the spreading of PLRV by aphids redounded to the propagation of PSTVd. Therefore, it is especially important for potato cultivars to resist PLRV and PSTVd together. An effective and economic method to cultivate virus-resistant potato cultivars could be by plant genetic engineering.

In this research marker-free bivalent expression vector p3301-DR-Isir with RNAi structure of PLRV IS and di-component ribozyme specificly cleaving PSTVd RNA(-)was constructed successfully, which could be used as gene source to transform potato cultivars for high resistances to PLRV and PSTVd.


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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (26 Dec 12)

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (26 Dec 12) | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it

Claire Curry selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases or their predators from CAB Abstracts. Some records of pests are:

  • First record of Trioza vitreoradiata (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Triozidae) in citrus.
  • Biological and serological diagnosis of Iris yellow spot virus in onion from northern India.
  • Fusarium chlamydosporum, causing wilt disease of guava (Psidium guajava L.) in India.
  • New distribution and lure records of Dacinae (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Queensland, Australia, and description of a new species of Dacus fabricius.
  • Chilli bud borer, Goethella asulcatta Girault in Andhra Pradesh.
  • First report of the invasive stink bug Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) from New Mexico, with notes on its biology.

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Knapco's curator insight, December 26, 2012 7:33 AM

Photo: The invasive stink bug Bagrada hilaris © Ton Rulkens (CC BY-SA licence)

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Video from the Borlaug GlobalRust Initiative: The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Presents: The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust.

Via Mary Williams, Knapco, Mary Amor Figueroa
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Plant Breeding and Genomics News's comment, November 14, 2012 11:57 AM
I have posted some of your links directly, without "rescooping" you, but I want to say thanks.
Mary Williams's comment, November 14, 2012 12:03 PM
No problem and you're welcome - I'm happy to share. We plant biologists have a greater goal than self-promotion :)
Rescooped by Mary Amor Figueroa from Plant Pests - Global Travellers
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Warming Climate Marches Pests and Pathogens Polewards

Warming Climate Marches Pests and Pathogens Polewards | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
The distribution of plant pests and pathogens have been observed to be moving away from the equator towards the North and South poles and inhabit areas previously too cold for their existence.

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NY Times: Citrus Greening: A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA (2013)

NY Times: Citrus Greening: A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA (2013) | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it

CLEWISTON, Fla. — The call Ricke Kress and every other citrus grower in Florida dreaded came while he was driving. “It’s here” was all his grove manager needed to say to force him over to the side of the road. The disease that sours oranges and leaves them half green, already ravaging citrus crops across the world, had reached the state’s storied groves. Mr. Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus, in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Natural, sat in silence for several long moments. “O.K.,” he said finally on that fall day in 2005, “let’s make a plan.” In the years that followed, he and the 8,000 other Florida growers who supply most of the nation’s orange juice poured everything they had into fighting the disease they call citrus greening. To slow the spread of the bacterium that causes the scourge, they chopped down hundreds of thousands of infected trees and sprayed an expanding array of pesticides on the winged insect that carries it. But the contagion could not be contained.

 

They scoured Central Florida’s half-million acres of emerald groves and sent search parties around the world to find a naturally immune tree that could serve as a new progenitor for a crop that has thrived in the state since its arrival, it is said, with Ponce de León. But such a tree did not exist. “In all of cultivated citrus, there is no evidence of immunity,” the plant pathologist heading a National Research Council task force on the disease said. In all of citrus, but perhaps not in all of nature. With a precipitous decline in Florida’s harvest predicted within the decade, the only chance left to save it, Mr. Kress believed, was one that his industry and others had long avoided for fear of consumer rejection. They would have to alter the orange’s DNA — with a gene from a different species.


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Knapco's curator insight, July 29, 2013 5:17 AM

The article well addresses a dilemma of the nowadays world: Do we dare to use the top scientific results and high-tech knowledge such as genetic engineering? How much is still ethically to interfere with basic genetic code of species? Is it right to mix genes of organisms belonging to different kingdoms? Mankind has always feared of anything that was not understood. And we are still far from understanding firstly, how related we are with plants and animals and secondly, how often we consume mixed genes/proteins with infected crops.

A global code of ethics for genetic engineering of plants would be needed, which would support the GMO technology to maintain the plant health, while limiting the use of GMOs for commercial purposes – to achieve better taste and color of the crop…

Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, July 29, 2013 5:36 AM
It should be noted that "mixing of genes from different kingdoms" does occur in nature, and not a man-made artifact. It's the very well known process of horizontal gene transfer, which has and continues to shape the evolution of life http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v9/n8/full/nrg2386.html http://www.pnas.org/content/101/51/17747.short
Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, July 29, 2013 5:40 AM
I often ponder the ethics of opposing a technology such as GMO that provides relief from the use and abuse of harmful chemicals in agriculture. If you oppose GMOs then you need to own the problem of spraying potatoes ~20 times per season etc. See http://t.co/HyW3qs7wu7
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Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease Spreads To Uganda

Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease Spreads To Uganda | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
Maize Lethal Necrosis disease, which was first reported in Kenya and Tanzania, has now spread to Uganda, raising concerns for food security in the country.

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Knapco's curator insight, April 6, 2013 2:44 PM

Maize Lethal Necrosis disease was first observed in 2011 and 2012 in the Rift Valley Province in Kenya. Scientists identified the disease to be caused by a double infection of the maize chlorotic mottle virus and the sugarcane mosaic virus.

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New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ...

New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ... | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
Adapting a novel form of insect resistance discovered in a wild plant native to Peru, Mutschler-Chu, professor of plant breeding and genetics, first isolated the resistance. She found that it was mediated by droplets of sugar ...

Via Knapco, Mary Amor Figueroa
more...
Knapco's curator insight, April 6, 2013 3:08 PM

Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans.

They also transmit such diseases as the tomato spotted wilt virus, causing millions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops each year.

 

The Cornell thrips-resistant tomato lines, with and without the virus resistance genes, will be used by Mutschler-Chu and an interdisciplinary team of eight other scientists from seven other institutions nationwide as part of a new five-year, $3.75 million project to control thrips and TOSPO viruses in tomatoes.

Mary Amor Figueroa's comment, May 8, 2013 8:01 AM
it was mediated by droplets of sugar esters, called acylsugars, that are produced and exuded from hairs (trichomes) that cover the plants.

The acylsugars don’t kill the insects, but deter them from feeding or laying eggs on the plants.

The process does not require genetic modification and is completely safe.
Knapco's comment, May 12, 2013 2:17 PM
Thanks for additional information!
Rescooped by Mary Amor Figueroa from Plant health
Scoop.it!

New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ...

New 'dual resistant' tomatoes fight lethal pests with one-two punch ... | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it
Adapting a novel form of insect resistance discovered in a wild plant native to Peru, Mutschler-Chu, professor of plant breeding and genetics, first isolated the resistance. She found that it was mediated by droplets of sugar ...

Via Knapco
more...
Knapco's curator insight, April 6, 2013 3:08 PM

Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans.

They also transmit such diseases as the tomato spotted wilt virus, causing millions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops each year.

 

The Cornell thrips-resistant tomato lines, with and without the virus resistance genes, will be used by Mutschler-Chu and an interdisciplinary team of eight other scientists from seven other institutions nationwide as part of a new five-year, $3.75 million project to control thrips and TOSPO viruses in tomatoes.

Mary Amor Figueroa's comment, May 8, 2013 8:01 AM
it was mediated by droplets of sugar esters, called acylsugars, that are produced and exuded from hairs (trichomes) that cover the plants.

The acylsugars don’t kill the insects, but deter them from feeding or laying eggs on the plants.

The process does not require genetic modification and is completely safe.
Knapco's comment, May 12, 2013 2:17 PM
Thanks for additional information!
Rescooped by Mary Amor Figueroa from Plant health
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Xylella fastidiosa Virtual Issue

Xylella fastidiosa Virtual Issue | newly discovered pests | Scoop.it

In recent years, multipronged research efforts have brought a new level of understanding about this pathogen's complex biology and disease mechanisms, leading to better management strategies. The key papers presented below, published in Phytopathology, Plant Disease, and Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, tell a story of progress. Free access is available to these papers for a limited time.


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Knapco's curator insight, December 28, 2012 8:15 PM

George W. Sundin, Editor-in-Chief, Phytopathology:

The bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa is the causal agent of Pierce’s disease of grapevine, citrus variegated chlorosis, leaf scorch disease of almond and other tree hosts, and phony peach disease. This gram-negative bacterium dwells in the xylem of plants and is transmitted between hosts by xylem-feeding insects. The global X. fastidiosa research community is actively studying a variety of topics, including pathogen virulence, plant host resistance, factors influencing bacterial proliferation in xylem, insect interactions, rapid detection, and population genetics. Researchers are also taking many different approaches in attempts to manage diseases caused by X. fastidiosa.