Using DNA to detect a stinkbug invasion

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Brown marmorated Stinkbug nymph, Image by Photochem_PA

The use of DNA to detect a stinkbug invasion proposes a revolutionary advancement in agricultural pest surveillance following the success recorded on a piloted experiment conducted on farms in the USA. These interlopers attack all manner of produce, ranging from fruits to leafy vegetables.  However, the adoption of DNA techniques in detecting its early invasion may help to bring its assault to a halt, as opposed to the use of pheromone traps which may only be effective after the pest’s population are pronounced.

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CABI warns of rapid spread of crop-devastating fall armyworm across Asia

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Scientists discuss various plant diseases with local farmers as they attend a Plantwise plant clinic in India. Photo: CABI

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest’s rapid spread across Africa in 2017.

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Why Prosopis no longer ‘pays’ as a prospect for positive environmental and socio-economic productivity

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In the late 1970s and early 1980s the group of closely-related woody plant species and hybrids known as Prosopis were seen as a ‘saviour’ for millions of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in East Africa whose very livelihoods were threatened by the degradation of dryland ecosystems spurred on by overgrazing, and by deforestation and a shortage of firewood.

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Southern armyworm identified from West and Central Africa

Edited by Washington Otieno, Roger Day and Matthew Cock.

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Figure 1. Spodoptera eridania (southern armyworm); final instar larva. Laboratory specimen. Public Domain – Released by the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has confirmed that caterpillar and adult moth samples from West and Central Africa are southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania.

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A night at the movies: with soybean and fall armyworm as stars of the show

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A similar screening takes place with a community in Uganda

Farmers in northern Ghana are beginning to get a taste of the latest movie out of the Box Office – it’s not a romantic comedy or a thriller – instead it’s a production that will help them get more from their soybean crops and protect their maize from the fall armyworm caterpillar.

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Parthenium: Controlling the World’s Most Destructive Toxic Weed

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Parthenium is toxic to animals and humans when consumed in high enough quantities (© CABI)

The poisonous Parthenium hysterophorus plant is one of the world’s most destructive invasive plant species, threatening biodiversity, food security and human health across numerous countries. The herb is native to Central and South America but has spread to over 40 countries over recent decades including Australia, India, Ethiopia, Swaziland and South Africa.

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Fostering partnerships to combat fall armyworm

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Since 2017, CABI has been heavily involved in the international effort to develop and implement a continental framework for tackling fall armyworm in Africa. Initial meetings resulted in the development of a draft framework, which identified roles for different organisations involved in fall armyworm management globally and on the African continent, including CABI. This has culminated into what has officially become known as the Framework for Partnership for Sustainable Management of the Fall Armyworm in Africa.

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