General Concepts in Integrated Pest and Disease Management by A. Ciancio and K.G. Mukerji

Bibliographic Information:
Title: General Concepts in Integrated Pest and Disease Management
Editor: A. Ciancio
K.G. Mukerji
Volume: 1st
Publisher: Springer
Length: 443 pages
Size: 7.28 MB
Language: English

This volume focuses on integrated pest and disease management (IPM/IDM) and
biocontrol of some key diseases of perennial and annual crops. It continues a series
originated during a visit of prof. K. G. Mukerji to the CNR Plant Protection Institute
in Bari (Italy), in November 2005. Both editors aim at a series of five volumes
embracing, in a multi-disciplinary approach, advances and achievements in the
practice of crop protection, for a wide range of plant parasites and pathogens. Two
volumes of the series were already produced, dedicated to general concepts in IPM
and to management and biocontrol of nematodes of grain crops and vegetables.
This Volume deals, in particular, with diseases due to bacteria, phytoplasma and
fungi. Every day, in any agroecosystem, farmers face problems related to plant
diseases. Since the beginning of agriculture, indeed, and probably for a long time in
the future, farmers will continue to do so. Every year, plant diseases cause severe
losses in the global production of food and other agricultural commodities,
worldwide. Plant diseases are not limited to episodic events occurring in single farms
or crops, and should not be regarded as single independent cases, affecting only
farms on a local scale. The impact of plant disease epidemics on food shortage
ignited, in the last two centuries, deep cultural, social and demographic changes,
affecting million human beings, through i.e. migration, death and hunger. The effects
of severe epidemics, like those due to Phytophthora infestans, are well documented
in plant pathology and even in history treatises and literature, and their legacy is still
valid today. For this reason a disease causal agent should not only be regarded as a
noxious factor limiting crop production or lowering farmers’ incomes, but also as a
potential threat for the whole food production chain, worldwide. Global epidemics of
basic food crops are still a potential issue and a risk that should be considered when
planning the welfare of any community, at any scale.
This statement explains the attention devoted to plant diseases, and the efforts
deployed for their management and control. As for other disciplines concerning plant
protection, we reached today a mature stage in which the optimism initially
underlining the widespread use of chemicals and fumigants lent space to a more
pragmatic, comprehensive and integrated vision of control. There is, indeed, a
general concern about the negative consequences related to the widespread use of
chemicals, including not only environmental issues like pollution or contamination,
but also the insurgence of resistance in the target organism populations, as well as
the farmers’ health hazards represented by the use and manipulation of chemicals.
A wide literature already covers several aspects of chemical or biological
control, but there is a widespread interest for a more holistic vision of IPM. In this
series we tried to fill this gap, aiming at producing an informative coverage for a
wide range of cropping systems. Chapters are organized in a first Section dealing
with diseases of perennial crops, followed by a second one for annual crops, and a
third final Section dealing with advances in DNA application for management,
detection and diagnosis, and potentials of endophytes for disease control.
In the first chapter, disease management of stone fruit crops (apricot, cherry,
peach, nectarine and plum) is reviewed. These include important diseases like brown
rot blossom blight and fruit rot. Research showed the importance of latent infections
in brown rot cycle, allowing options for a better disease management. Brown rot is
controlled by fungicides, but resistance to benzimidazoles is widespread and appears
to be developing further. Cultivars resistant to brown rot, although not yet
commercially available, could be helpful for selection of new resistant clones. Other
important stone fruit diseases like bacterial canker, Leucostoma canker, powdery
cankers cannot be controlled with chemicals, but they are managed using an
integrated approach relying on resistance, good horticultural practices and exclusion.
Resistance to fungicides in powdery mildew is developing, so the use of spray oils
with fungicides is examined. New fungicides are available for the postharvest
problems like fruit rots caused by Monilinia spp., Botrytis cinerea and Rhizopus spp.,
but they need careful management to avoid resistance. The development of new
molecular techniques for pathogens identification and their use in disease forecasting
and risk management is improving control of stone fruit diseases.
In the second chapter, the major diseases of apples, their management strategies
and the problems related to sustainable productions are discussed. Guidelines for
sustainable, integrated management of main apple diseases are reviewed, including
effective and sustainable tactics. Resistance plays a crucial role in the management
of apple diseases, and management problems include the development of fungicide
resistance as wel as breakdown of host resistance. Symptoms, causal pathogens,
disease cycles and management practices are reviewed for main spring diseases like
apple scab, powdery mildew, fire blight and rust diseases. Problems like fungicide
resistance and availability of plant resistance are discussed, together with
applications of cultural and chemical management with predictive models.
Symptoms, disease cycles and management issues are also reviewed for summer
diseases, like bitter rot, flyspeck and sooty blotch.
Third chapter follows dealing with the management and ecology of phytoplasma
diseases of grapevine and fruit crops. Management of phytoplasma-infected plants
focussed on controlling the insect vectors and on roguing infected crops and weeds.
Actual management concepts rely on environment compatible measures and on
cultural practices. The introduction of disease-resistance genes into cultivated crops
togheter with the use of resistance-inducing microorganisms represent potential tools
to control phytoplasma diseases.
The fourth chapter deals with citrus diseases caused by Phytophthora spp., with
reference to root rot, gummosis and brown rot of fruits. Some aspects of the biology
and ecology of P. citrophthora and P. nicotianae are revised, like dissemination,
reproduction and epidemiology. The symptomatic diagnosis of main diseases are
reviewed, including foot rot or gummosis, fibrous root rot, brown fruit rot and
dieback of twigs and leaves. Biological and instrumental diagnosis and laboratory
tests for monitoring, sampling and population dynamics studies are revised.
Management methods based on interventions on the host-plant, rootstock resistance,
grafting as well as sanitary practices in nurseries are shown, with pruning, surgery
and cultural practices, i.e. fertilization, irrigation, soil management and weeds
control. Chemical control methods are also reviewed, with reference to the use of
systemic fungicides for control of trunk gummosis, root rot and brown rot of fruits.
In the following review of biological control and management of chestnut
diseases, the main strategies for efficient biological control and management of
chestnut blight and ink diseases caused by Cryphonectria parasitica, Phytophthora
cambivora and P. cinnamomi are discussed. The cankers of chestnut blight are
described, as well as the characters of the different infections caused by
C. parasitica. The diseases evolution, the spread and effectiveness of hypovirulence
are also revised, considering morphology, physiology, presence and transmission of
dsRNAs. Chestnut resistance, the role of environmental and other ecological factors
in ink disease, including soil microflora, are then discussed. The role of silviculture
and biological control strategies for blight and ink disease management are also
revised. Improvements in the management of chestnut disease need a better
understanding of the ecological dynamic of chestnut ecosystems. An holistic
approach including all the factors involved in chestnut trees ecology is proposed in
planning the management of such ecosystems, and in undertaking best conservation
and improvement measures.
Esca is a grapevine wood disease that seriously affects grapevine yield and
longevity, comprising a number of distinct diseases in which the main fungal agents
(primarily vascular pathogens) invade the vines, not only through field wounds but
also as a result of nursery practices. When vines become infected in the nursery, the
developing diseases may vary from Petri decline to full-blown esca, with or without
white decay. No chemical control is available and sanitary practices in the nursery
are suggested as the best way to eliminate or at least reduce pre-planting infections
by the tracheomycotic fungi. In absence of chemical prevention, preventive and
curative actions in the field can lower infections or hamper symptom appearance in
esca-infected vines.
In the following chapter, the integrated management of root rot caused by the
fungus Rosellinia necatrix on fruit tree crops is revised. This is a soil borne
pathogen causing a disease known as “white root rot”. The pathogen, widespread
in temperate and tropical climates, shows an increasing trend of attacks on several
host species. Economic losses are serious in the nurseries and on orchard trees, and
many field crops and weeds can also be severely damaged. The pathogen, mainly
disseminated by propagating material, can survive in soil for many years. Control
strategies, including cultural practices, soil disinfestations, chemical treatments,
soil solarization and biological control are expensive and not always resolutive.
White root rot control largely depends on pathogen exclusion through the use of
R. necatrix-free propagating material and planting in healthy soils. A fundamental
role is played by rules promoting trade of healthy propagating materials, and by
the availability of new molecular detection tools.
The second Section, on annual crops, begins with a review of simulation
models for potato late blight management. Potato late blight is widely studied and
particular attention was given to the mathematical description of its development.
Several simulation models are avilable and this chapter focuses primarily on
versions developed at Cornell University and other research centres. The most
recent version of the model was validated in the highland tropics and several other
countries and cropping systems. Late blight simulators, used to evaluate disease
management scenarios, were also used for other purposes, including sensitivity
analysis of resistance components, comparative epidemiology, development of
forecasting models and education. The potential of disease simulation will continue
to improve, thanks to supporting technologies, both in computing power and weather
data acquisition.

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