Ohio State University
University of California; University of Georgia; University of Florida; Agroexpertos; KARI; IITA; TNAU
Robert Gilbertson; Timur Momol; Carrie Lapair Harmon; Jiannong Xin
Prompt and accurate diagnosis of plant diseases and detection of plant pathogens is crucial for integrated crop health management. However, researchers, extension personnel and farmers in developing countries seldom have access to modern diagnostics. Global trade in seeds, vegetative planting material and fresh produce enhances the prospect for long-distance movement of plant pathogenic microorganisms. Modern diagnostic technology is critical to the interception of potentially devastating pathogens before they are exported worldwide.
Biotechnology-based diagnostic approaches combined with traditional microbiology and researcher training in these methods are needed, especially in export crop production areas. Techniques including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and immunoassays have already been developed for several pathogens, including select agents, and can be used in developing country laboratories with appropriate equipment and technical training. These assays can be used to detect pathogens in plant material, insect vectors, water, air and soil, thus providing early identification of the causal agent and ability to initiate management or eradication procedures, depending on the pathogen and crop.
Build local capacity to identify plant diseases and create linkages to regional and international diagnostic expertise