Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) represent one of the most polyphagous genera of plant-parasitic nematodes. This review highlights recent work aimed at ‘minor’ root-knot nematodes: M. chitwoodi, M. fallax, M. minor, M. enterolobii (=M. mayaguensis), M. exigua, and M. paranaensis. Some of these species have been described only recently.
After a brief profile of each species, identification methods and their application in Meloidogyne spp. are summarized. Intraspecific variation and its impact on plant resistance breeding are discussed and interactions between M. enterolobii and Fusarium solani are highlighted as an example of synergistic interactions with other plant pathogens.
Taken together, the aim of this review is to draw attention to previously neglected and newly described Meloidogyne spp. that are developing into major problems for agriculture in tropical and temperate climates.
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Herbivory and mechanical wounding in plants have been shown to elicit electrical signals — mediated by two glutamate-receptor-like proteins — that induce defence responses at local and distant sites.
The mammalian nervous system can relay electrical signals at speeds approaching 100 metres per second. Plants live at a slower pace. Although they lack a nervous system, some plants, such as the mimosa (Mimosa pudica) and the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), use electrical signals to trigger rapid leaf movements. Signal propagation in these plants occurs at a rate of 3 centimetres per second — comparable to that observed in the nervous system of mussels. On page 422 of this issue, Mousavi et al. address the fascinating yet elusive issue of how plants generate and propagate electrical signals. The authors identify two glutamate-receptor-like proteins as crucial components in the induction of an electrical wave that is initiated by leaf wounding and that spreads to neighbouring organs, prompting them to mount defence responses to a potential herbivore attack.
As sessile organisms, plants have evolved diverse strategies to combat herbivores. These include mechanical defences, such as the thorns found on rose bushes, and chemical deterrents, such as the insect-neurotoxic pyrethrins of the genus Chrysanthemum. However, some plants do not invest in continuous defensive structures or metabolites, relying instead on the initiation of defence responses on demand2. This strategy requires an appropriate surveillance system and rapid communication between plant organs. A key player in orchestrating these reactions is the lipid-derived plant hormone jasmonate, which rapidly accumulates in organs remote from the site of herbivore feeding.
Mousavi et al. used thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants and Egyptian cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) larvae as a model of plant–herbivore interactions. The researchers placed the larvae on individual leaves and recorded changes in electrical potentials using electrodes grounded in the soil and on the surface of different leaves. The leaf-surface potential did not change when a larva walked on a leaf, but as soon as it started to feed, electrical signals were evoked near the site of attack and subsequently spread to neighbouring leaves at a maximum speed of 9 centimetres per minute. The relay of the electrical signal was most efficient for leaves directly above or below the wounded leaf. These leaves are well connected by the plant vasculature, which conducts water and organic compounds, and is a good candidate for the transmission of signals over long distances.
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Ever wonder what farmers did hundreds of years ago to fight off crop pests? Long before the invention of harmful chemical pesticides (yes, the kind that is linked to cancerous cellular activity), farmers and householders came up with multiple remedies for removing insect infestations from their garden plants.
The following list will offer some of our favorite, all-natural, inexpensive, organic methods for making bug-busting pesticides for your home garden.
Ancient Indians highly revered neem oil as a powerful, all-natural plant for warding off pests. In fact, neem juice is the most powerful natural pesticide on the planet, holding over 50 natural insecticides. This extremely bitter tree leaf can be made in a spray form, or can be bought from a number of reputable companies.
To make your own neem oil spray, simply add 1/2 an ounce of high quality organic neem oil and ½ teaspoon of a mild organic liquid soap (I use Dr. Bronners Peppermint) to two quarts of warm water. Stir slowly. Add to a spray bottle and use immediately.
2. Salt Spray
For treating plants infested with spider mites, mix 2 tablespoons of Himalayan Crystal Salt into one gallon of warm water and spray on infected areas.
3. Mineral oil
Mix 10-30 ml of high-grade oil with one liter of water. Stir and add to spray bottle. This organic pesticide works well for dehydrating insects and their eggs.
4. Citrus Oil and/or Cayenne Pepper Mix
This is another great organic pesticide that works well on ants. Simply, mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil with one teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray in the affected areas.
5. Soap, Orange Citrus Oil & Water
To make this natural pesticide, simply mix 3 tablespoons of liquid Organic Castile soap with 1 ounce of Orange oil to one gallon of water. Shake well. This is an especially effective treatment against slugs and can be sprayed directly on ants and roaches.
6. Eucalyptus oil
A great natural pesticide for flies, bees and wasps. Simply sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil where the insects are found. They will all be gone before you know it.
7. Onion and Garlic Spray
Mince one organic clove of garlic and one medium sized organic onion. Add to a quart of water. Wait one hour and then add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of liquid soap to the mix. This organic spray will hold its potency for one week if stored in the refrigerator.
8. Chrysanthemum Flower Tea
These flowers hold a powerful plant chemical component called pyrethrum. This substance invades the nervous system of insects rendering them immobile. You can make your own spray by boiling 100 grams of dried flowers into 1 liter of water. Boil dried flowers in water for twenty minutes. Strain, cool and place in a spray bottle. Can be stored for up to two months. You can also add some organic neem oil to enhance the effectiveness.
9. Tobacco Spray
Just as tobacco is not good for humans, tobacco spray was once a commonly used pesticide for killing pests, caterpillars and aphids. To make, simply take one cup of organic tobacco (preferably a brand that is organic and all-natural) and mix it in one gallon of water. Allow the mixture to set overnight. After 24-hours, the mix should have a light brown color. If it is very dark, add more water. This mix can be used on most plants, with the exception of those in the solanaceous family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.)
10. Chile pepper / Diatomaceous Earth
Grind two handfuls of dry chiles into a fine powder and mix with 1 cup of Diatomaceous earth. Add to 2 liters of water and let set overnight. Shake well before applying.
If you have some easy recipes for making your own organic pesticides, we would love to hear them.
Related Blogposts:The Benefits of Organic Pesticides7 Tips for Starting Your Own Organic Garden6 Tips for “Going Green” Outside Your House7 Healthy Berries You Should Eat Everyday
Tarantula's venom more potent than current pesticides The Conversation Australian tarantula venom has been found to be more potent against certain insect pests than existing man made chemical pesticides.
The cellulose binding elicitor lectin (CBEL) of the genus Phytophthora induces necrosis and immune responses in several plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the role of CBEL-induced responses in the outcome of the interaction is still unclear. This study shows that some of CBEL-induced defence responses, but not necrosis, required the receptor-like kinase BAK1, a general regulator of basal immunity in Arabidopsis, and the production of a reactive oxygen burst mediated by respiratory burst oxidases homologues (RBOH). Screening of a core collection of 48 Arabidopsis ecotypes using CBEL uncovered a large variability in CBEL-induced necrotic responses. Analysis of non-responsive CBEL lines Ws-4, Oy-0, and Bla-1 revealed that Ws-4 and Oy-0 were also impaired in the production of the oxidative burst and expression of defence genes, whereas Bla-1 was partially affected in these responses. Infection tests using two Phytophthora parasitica strains, Pp310 and Ppn0, virulent and avirulent, respectively, on the Col-0 line showed that BAK1 and RBOH mutants were susceptible to Ppn0, suggesting that some immune responses controlled by these genes, but not CBEL-induced cell death, are required for Phytophthora parasitica resistance. However, Ws-4, Oy-0, and Bla-1 lines were not affected in Ppn0 resistance, showing that natural variability in CBEL responsiveness is not correlated to Phytophthora susceptibility. Overall, the results uncover a BAK1- and RBOH-dependent CBEL-triggered immunity essential for Phytophthora resistance and suggest that natural quantitative variation of basal immunity triggered by conserved general elicitors such as CBEL does not correlate to Phytophthora susceptibility.
Mathieu Larroque, Elodie Belmas, Thomas Martinez, Sophie Vergnes, Nathalie Ladouce, Claude Lafitte, Elodie Gaulin, and Bernard Dumas
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Garden Q&A: Parasitic wasps play crucial role Tribune-Review There are literally thousands of species of parasitic wasps here in North America, and they are very important as they help control the populations of many common garden pests.
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Understanding commonalities and differences of how symbiotic and parasitic microbes interact with plants will improve advantageous interactions and allow pathogen control strategies in crops. Recently established systems enable studies of root pathogenic and symbiotic interactions in the same plant species.
The origins of crop diseases are linked to domestication of plants. Most crops were domesticated centuries – even millennia – ago, thus limiting opportunity to understand the concomitant emergence of disease. Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) is an exception: domestication began in the 1930s with outbreaks of canker disease caused by P. syringae pv. actinidiae(Psa) first recorded in the 1980s. Based on SNP analyses of two circularized and 34 draft genomes, we show that Psa is comprised of distinct clades exhibiting negligible within-clade diversity, consistent with disease arising by independent samplings from a source population. Three clades correspond to their geographical source of isolation; a fourth, encompassing thePsa-V lineage responsible for the 2008 outbreak, is now globally distributed. Psa has an overall clonal population structure, however, genomes carry a marked signature of within-pathovar recombination. SNP analysis of Psa-V reveals hundreds of polymorphisms; however, most reside within PPHGI-1-like conjugative elements whose evolution is unlinked to the core genome. Removal of SNPs due to recombination yields an uninformative (star-like) phylogeny consistent with diversification of Psa-V from a single clone within the last ten years. Growth assays provide evidence of cultivar specificity, with rapid systemic movement of Psa-V inActinidia chinensis. Genomic comparisons show a dynamic genome with evidence of positive selection on type III effectors and other candidate virulence genes. Each clade has highly varied complements of accessory genes encoding effectors and toxins with evidence of gain and loss via multiple genetic routes. Genes with orthologs in vascular pathogens were found exclusively within Psa-V. Our analyses capture a pathogen in the early stages of emergence from a predicted source population associated with wild Actinidia species. In addition to candidate genes as targets for resistance breeding programs, our findings highlight the importance of the source population as a reservoir of new disease.
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