USA: Sampling a key to nematode management


Nematode infestations are not as obvious as armyworms, thrips, or fleahoppers, but the damage they cause to numerous crops can be devastating. Farm Press called on Extension and Research pathologists From Texas to Georgia to ascertain the damage nematodes can cause, the symptoms to look for in-season, sampling recommendations, and management options. Also, new research seeks to find more varieties resistant to nematode damage.The first and most crucial part of managing nematode infection is identifying the problem, including determining level of pressure and specific species present.Timing and collection of representative samples are critical to identifying infection levels and creating a viable management plan.“Sampling should wait until at least 60 days after planting,” Terry Wheeler, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Pathologist, Lubbock, said. “Soil sampling for a nematode analysis is fine from 60 days to the end of the season, as long as there is good soil moisture.”She said soil tends to dry out in the fall, so sampling during the growing season “is usually better.”“Taking soil samples is the only way to determine the population density of root-knot or reniform nematode,” said Travis Faske, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Lonoke.Related:Unmanaged nematode damage can exceed 50%He added that other nematodes, including lesion nematode or lance nematode, could be a problem in some states. “Lance is generally not a problem here.”He said the best time to sample in his area is just after harvest.

Sampling is crucial

“Sampling is the only way to detect problems of nematodes other than root-knot nematodes, the only one if you were scouting you could see stunted plants showing nutrition deficiencies in mid-season and could dig up and see galling.“That’s where I come in, sampling and getting farmers to sample. I’ve talked with some who say they have sampled. I ask, how long ago? ‘Well, about 15, 20 years ago’ they say. A lot of things change within their production system in that time.”“Fall is the best time,” said University of Georgia Extension Plant Pathologist Bob Kemerait, Tifton.But Kemerait said some Georgia farmers were sampling this winter. “We were seeing a number of samples come back positive for high levels of nematodes, which is unusual for samples collected during cooler winter months,” he said.He attributes those high populations to several La Niña winters, winters that are warmer than average and that allow nematodes to continue to feed.And during the winter of 2022-2023 they had a buffet. “In warmer winters, some cover crops or winter wheat could be a host,” he said. “Some common winter weeds like henbit and chickweed also might be a host in a warm winter. In a winter like we’ve had this year, nematodes never really went to bed and may want to go out and get themselves a snack.”Related:Resistant varieties, rotation suppress reniform nematodesHe said plants typically not a good host in colder winters could become fair hosts in warmer winters.Does it make sense to sample in the winter?“That’s a great question,” Kemerait said. “I would say under most circumstances no. It’s too late. But we’ve had growers across Georgia who, against my better judgment initially, took samples. They wanted to know what was in their fields. Surprisingly, we’ve found some very high levels of nematodes.”He cited two reasons to avoid taking samples during winter months. “The first is if you come back with nothing in the sample, you don’t know if that’s because there’s nothing there or because you sampled in the winter when nematode populations are suppressed. Also, our threshold levels are based upon fall counts, not spring. That makes interpretation of winter numbers a bit difficult.“On the other hand, because it’s been so warm this winter, we find successful growers who have nematode pressures at elevated levels, which we normally wouldn’t see this time of year.”Kemerait said some growers are making good decisions based on what they find in late nematode samples.“Still, I wish they had sampled in the fall.”Related:Nematode symptoms may resemble nutrient deficiencyHe added that if growers get samples with high numbers, they can make management decisions. “But if they don’t get low numbers back, they can’t know for sure if they have nothing or the timing is off. I prefer that growers sample in the fall, just after harvest, before soils get cold.”

Population changes

Faske said producers should consider that nematode population density could change over time and sometimes in spite of resistant varieties.He said producers may say, “’I don’t have a nematode problem,’ referring to root-knot but don’t think about reniform. Without a soil sample they don’t know.”Faske explained that nematode samples can be predictive or diagnostic.“If growers see a problem, stunted plants, for instance, they take a diagnostic sample to determine why those plants are stunted. They would take a sample in sick-looking plants, not the dead plants. Nematode populations will be low in dead plants.”He recommended comparing the sample area to a lush and green area in cotton, soybeans, or peanuts. “Send those two samples off and compare nematode numbers to determine if the symptom you’re seeing is related to nematode density.”He said producers take predictive samples in the fall.“Then they should ask if they can predict damage based on nematode density or are they at a level that would cause damage for a subsequent crop, cotton, soybeans or peanuts.”

Representative sample

He said samples should represent the field as accurately as possible.Samples do not have to be large, Faske said. “We don’t need a gallon of soil.”Wheeler recommends taking a composite soil sample (10 to 20 spots per sample) to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.  “You can be close to the surface, 6 to 8 inches, nearer to midseason, deeper as you get close to harvest. “Take the sample near the taproot. Mix the soil well in a bucket and put it in a plastic bag,” she said.  “Keep the sample from getting hot, or from freezing.  Nematodes are very sensitive to extreme temperatures.”Faske recommends producers stay with the same laboratory from year to year.“Although the process is generally the same, sometimes the way labs report findings are a little different.” He said Arkansas reports as per 100 cubic centimeters of soil; Mississippi reports as 500 cubic centimeters of soil; Missouri reports as 250 cubic centimeters of soil.


He said thresholds for nematode populations, unlike for insect pests, are difficult to establish.“If samples show more than 100 per 100 cubic centimeters of soil per root, that’s a serious problem going into soybeans or cotton and growers should think about a management tactic.”Faske said Arkansas commodity boards see nematode sampling as a critical tool in crop management and have “put their money where their mouth is, providing free assays to farmers. For the past few years, commodity boards have been paying for nematode assays.”All three agree, growers have to know what’s there before they can develop a management plan.

8 key tips for nematode sampling

Timing and technique are critical aspects of pulling, protecting, and transporting nematode samples.Morgan McCulloch, Texas A&M AgriLife, San Angelo, and Travis Faske, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Lonoke, offer tips to collect nematode samples.

  1. The best sampling time is relative to grower objectives. “For cotton management, we usually aim to sample after the cotton has reached maturity, McCulloch says. “This can happen prior to or soon after cotton harvest.” Moisture is important for nematode sampling as nematodes move with water in the soil profile. McCulloch recommends sampling when the soil is moist enough to hold its shape after squeezing gently.“Anytime you sample for nematodes, you’re aiming for the root zone of the targeted plant, around 12 inches deep for cotton,” McCulloch says.Samples should represent the field as accurately as possible, Faske says. “You wouldn’t want all of your samples to come from an obviousSample testing can get expensive; more samples are always better, but one comprehensive sample from multiple field points would provide an idea of what kind of nematodes are in a field. Protect samples. Recommendations call for placing samples in Ziploc bags to preserve moisture before the extraction process. Keep bagged samples out of direct sunlight. Transportation. “When we send samples to a commercial lab, we usually send them in a Styrofoam cooler in a cardboard box to keep them fresh,” McCulloch says. The sample form from the lab website should direct the lab to run a nematode assay to identify specific parasitic nematodes and relative densities. “Wherever you get samples processed, continue with that same laboratory,” Faske said. “Different labs report findings differently, although the procedure for assays is the same.”


Colombia: Phytophthora palmivora (bud rot) threatens 78,000 hectares


Thursday, 20 April 2023 09:17:00


Grahame Jackson posted a new submission ‘BUD ROT, OIL PALM – COLOMBIA: (CESAR)’




Source: Breaking Latest News [summ. Mod.DHA, edited]

Nearly 78 000 hectares [about 192 740 acres] of oil palm in the department of Cesar are threatened by the growing number of outbreaks of bud rot which could severely affect the plantations. Cenipalma (Oil Palm Research Center Corporation) calculations indicate that, if a regional contingency plan is not implemented to control and overcome the disease, by January 2026 98.8% of oil palms in the department could be affected. Similar situations have already occurred in the department of Magdalena, forcing the elimination of hundreds of hectares of oil palm plantings and replanting with more resistant cultivars.

A forum of stakeholders is being held to discuss phytosanitary issues, projections, and regional strategies for the management of bud rot. For now, there is talk of “isolated foci” in Cesar, but tasks such as proper drainage, avoiding flooding, phytosanitary monitoring, and nutritional management cannot be postponed.

Communicated by:

[While a number of fungi can cause bud rots in palms, the disease caused by the oomycete _Phytophthora palmivora_ has emerged as the main threat to Latin American commercial oil palm (_Elaeis guineensis_) monoculture since the early 2000s. Tens of thousands of hectares of palms are affected with entire estates destroyed in Panama, Colombia, Suriname, Brazil, and Ecuador; the disease is the limiting factor for oil palm cultivation in the region.

Trees of all ages can be affected; they also become more susceptible to secondary insect or pathogen infestations or adverse environmental factors. In palms, symptoms start with discolouration of the spear leaf followed by extensive frond rots as the infected leaf unfolds. The rot progresses into the leaf base killing the single growing bud and thus eventually the tree. Disease incidence is usually more severe in high humidity.

The pathogen enters the host via the crown. It is spread by wind splashed rain, mechanical means (including insect activities, cutting knives), and with infected plant or other material; it can remain dormant in the leaf base during dry conditions. Disease management may include cultural practices (phytosanitary measures, nutritional improvements), removal and burning of severely affected palms, as well as treatments with appropriate agrochemicals (for example copper compounds) at or before onset of symptoms. Different palm varieties or hybrids may show different levels of susceptibility to bud rot. For oil palm, breeding programmes using possible bud rot resistance genes from _E. oleifera_ (indigenous to the Americas) are in progress.

_P. palmivora_ is known to affect more than 150 tropical hosts, including black pod of cocoa (e.g. ProMED post 20220913.8705557). New strains that spread faster and are more difficult to control are emerging.

Colombia:,37967 and (with departments)
South America, overview:

Bud rot symptoms on oil palm: and
Bud rot symptoms on coconut and other palms:,,, and

Bud rot of palms:,,,, and (review)
Information on other _P. palmivora_ diseases and hosts:
_P. palmivora_ taxonomy and synonyms: and
_Phytophthora_ diseases, impact, and management: and via
– Mod.DHA]


The State of Insect Resistance to Transgenic Bt Crops


Entomology Today 1 Comment

Cultivation of transgenic crops engineered to produce insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has grown rapidly in the past 25 years. Bt crops have had noteworthy successes, but resistance to Bt crops has evolved in numerous instances. Five cases of practical resistance to Bt proteins that are produced by transgenic crops are documented for corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), which is the most for any pest. (Photo by John C. French Sr., Retired, Universities:Auburn, GA, Clemson and U of MO,

By John P. Roche, Ph.D.

Insect pests damaging crops is a huge problem worldwide, threatening food security and causing significant economic loss. One avenue to address this is to genetically engineer crops to produce proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that kill pests but are safe for most nontarget organisms. Although Bt-modified crops have been useful for controlling pests in numerous instances, some pests evolve resistance to Bt insecticide proteins. Therefore, scientists must evaluate the efficacy of Bt modified crops and find ways to delay evolution of insecticide resistance.

Sustained susceptibility to Bt cotton was essential for eradicating the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) from the United States and Mexico, which it had invaded more than a century ago.As part of a multi-tactic program, pink bollworm caterpillars were mass reared (as shown here) and 11 billion sterile moths were released by airplanes to overwhelm its populations in the field. By contrast, this pest evolved resistance to dual-toxin Bt cotton in India, where it was used extensively with scarce non-Bt host plant refuges and limited integration of other tactics. (Photo by Alexander Yelich, University of Arizona)

In a review published in January in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Bruce Tabashnik, Ph.D., and Yves Carrière, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona and Jeffrey Fabrick, Ph.D., of the USDA Agricultural Research Service analyze both of these needs by examining patterns of Bt resistance in agricultural pests around the globe. The review is part of a special collection on field-evolved resistance to Bt crops.

The acreage of Bt-modified crops has grown rapidly in the past 20 years, with over a 100-fold increase between 1996 and 2019. The USDA estimates that, in the U.S. from 2009 to 2020, Bt crops accounted for more than 75 percent of the area planted with corn and cotton and that, from 2016 to 2020, 81 percent of corn and 87 percent of cotton planted in the U.S. was engineered to produce Bt proteins.

Bt crops have helped to suppress pests while also decreasing the need for conventional insecticides and augmenting the effectiveness of biological control species. “Two stunning successes of Bt crops against invasive pests in the United States,” Tabashnik says, “are suppression of the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) to its lowest levels in more than 75 years by Bt corn and eradication of the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) using Bt cotton together with sterile moth releases and other tactics.” An example of a success against a native pest is the control of the tobacco budworm moth Chloridea virescens using Bt cotton in the U.S. and Mexico.

In their review, Tabashnik, Carrière, and Fabrick examined 73 sets of data on monitoring resistance to Bt crops, including information about responses to 10 Bt toxins in 22 species of moth and two species of beetle. They differentiated resistance found in these studies into the following three categories:

  1. practical resistance, in which more than half of the individuals in a population are resistant and the field efficacy of the Bt crop has decreased;
  2. early warning of resistance, in which resistance has evolved but fewer than half of individuals are resistant and efficacy of the Bt crop has not decreased;
  3. no decrease in susceptibility, in which there is no statistically significant decrease observed in susceptibility.

In the 73 data sets examined, they found 26 cases of practical resistance. The average time from first planting of a particular Bt crop to the appearance of practical resistance was 6.6 years. Over half of the cases of practical resistance were in three species—the moths Helicoverpa zea and Spodoptera frugiperda and the beetle Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Geographically, half of the instances of practical resistance were in the U.S. This makes sense, as the U.S. has planted Bt crops widely and extensively monitored resistance.

Tabashnik and colleagues found 17 instances of early warning of resistance. The mean time of detection of early warning of resistance was 8.6 years after exposure to Bt crops.

Thirty instances of no significant resistance were found after two to 24 years of exposure, with an average duration since exposure to Bt crops of 12.2 years.

The many instances of practical resistance lead to the question of how resistance can be delayed or prevented. One important way to reduce resistance is by creating refuges consisting of non-Bt-modified plants that serve as hosts for pest insects that are not resistant. Refuges were first envisioned to reduce evolution of resistance to insecticide sprays, but they have been crucial for slowing evolution of resistance to Bt insecticides. Because the refuge plants don’t produce Bt proteins, they allow survival of susceptible insects that can mate with any resistant insects that emerge from Bt crops.

Another factor that can hinder the evolution of resistance is increasing the concentration of Bt proteins enough to kill insects that are heterozygous for resistance, i.e., they carry only one allele that confers resistance. This “high-dose” strategy makes the resistance functionally recessive and less likely to spread quickly.

A man wearing glasses and a striped shirt looks at the camera and holds up his right hand, on the index finger of which is perched a small moth.
A man in a white lab coat holds a tray of covered containers in the open doorway of a large temperature-control unit with white shelves.

Tabashnik says, “Theory and empirical evidence indicate that recessive inheritance of pest resistance to Bt crops and abundant refuges of non-Bt host plants can help to sustain the efficacy of Bt crops. When inheritance of resistance is not recessive, the abundance of refuges relative to Bt crops can be increased to effectively delay evolution of resistance.”

Strategies being explored to heighten the efficacy of Bt crops include targeting each pest with two or more Bt proteins and using Bt proteins together with RNA interference (RNAi) insecticides. In the close of their review, Tabashnik and colleagues emphasize that rather than relying on any one control tactic—such as transgenic crops—sustainable pest suppression combines diverse integrated pest management tools.

Read More

Global Patterns of Insect Resistance to Transgenic Bt Crops: The First 25 Years

Special Collection: Global Perspectives on Field-Evolved Resistance to Transgenic Bt Crops

Journal of Economic Entomology

John P. Roche, Ph.D., is an author, biologist, and science writer with a Ph.D. in the biological sciences and a dedication to making rigorous science clear and accessible. He writes books and articles, and provides writing for universities, scientific societies, and publishers. Professional experience includes serving as a scientist and scientific writer at Indiana University, Boston College, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and as editor-in-chief of science periodicals at Indiana University and Boston College.


Philippines: Three genetically modified crops approved


In the Philippines, GMO crops are regulated by several government agencies, and Bt eggplant, Bt corn, and Golden Rice are some of the approved GMO crops considered safe for human consumption and the environment, which passed a rigorous scientific assessment.

BY James Tababa

May 3, 2023 00:06 AM

  • In the Philippines, GMO crops are regulated by several government agencies, and Bt eggplant, Bt corn, and Golden Rice are some of the approved GMO crops considered safe for human consumption and the environment, which passed a rigorous scientific assessment.



Genetically modified (GM) crops or genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been developed and grown since the 1990s. They are created through the process of genetic engineering, where the DNA of an organism is modified to produce desirable traits. GM crops are created to increase yield to increase food production, reduce the need to use pesticides and other harmful chemicals by creating insect pests and disease-resistant crops, and produce a highly nutritional crop to address nutritional deficiencies in certain populations.

The Philippines is one of the countries where genetically modified crops are being grown and used. However, GMO crops in the Philippines are regulated by the Department of Agriculture through the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) to ensure safety and prevent negative environmental impact. Evaluation of GMO crops is also supervised by several government agencies before approval for commercial purposes.

Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) is responsible for the evaluation, regulation, and approval of GMO crops for commercial propagation, release, and field trials. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) examines the environmental risk of GMO crops. The Department of Health-Bureau of Food and Drugs (DOH-BFAD) assesses the safety and nutritional value of GMO crops intended for human consumption. Lastly, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) conducts research and development activities related to GMO crops.

These government agencies collaborate to ensure the safety and potential benefits of GMO crops. They undertake comprehensive evaluations and assessments to ensure that any GMO crops introduced undergo thorough scrutiny regarding their potential impact on the environment, human health, and the agriculture sector.

GMO crops have been a controversial topic in the Philippines. Some groups say that they can help increase food security and boost the country’s agriculture sector, while others expressed concerns over potential environmental and health risks associated with their use. Despite the ongoing debate surrounding GMO crops, the Philippine government has approved some of the GMOs that are considered safe for human consumption and the environment. Here are three of them:

Bt Eggplant

In 2022, The Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines granted a biosafety permit for the commercial cultivation of borer resistant Bt Eggplant to the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Bt eggplant contains a natural protein from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, making it resistant to the eggplant fruit and shoot borer. The Philippines becomes the second country, after Bangladesh, to allow the commercial propagation of borer resistant Bt eggplant.

READ: The profitability of planting transgenic eggplants

Bt Corn

Bt corn is a genetically modified variety of corn that has been engineered to be resistant to the Asiatic corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis). The Asiatic corn borer is a major pest of corn in Asia, and it can cause significant yield losses if left untreated. Bt corn has been genetically engineered to produce a toxin from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that is toxic to the pest, thus reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

In the Philippines, Bt corn has been commercially cultivated since 2003, and it is one of the major GM crops grown in the country. Bt corn has several potential benefits for farmers and the environment. By reducing the need for chemical pesticides, Bt corn reduces the environmental impact and health risks associated with pesticide exposure for farmers and consumers. Additionally, Bt corn can lead to higher yields and increased profitability for farmers, which can help to alleviate poverty and food insecurity in rural areas.

READ: Two Cagayano Bt Corn Farmers and Their Advantages

Golden Rice

Golden Rice, now called Malusog Rice, is a genetically modified variety of rice that has been bioengineered to produce beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. It is called “golden” because the rice grains have a golden-yellow color due to the increased presence of beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables responsible for the yellow and orange color. The development of Golden Rice was aimed at addressing vitamin A deficiency, which is a serious health problem in many developing countries, including the Philippines.

In the Philippines, the development and testing of Golden Rice have been ongoing since 2004. The project is a collaboration between the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and other research institutions. In 2022, DA-PhilRice led the pilot deployment of Golden Rice seeds in the Philippines. The rice is registered with the National Seed Industry Council as NSIC 2022 Rc682GR2E or Malusog 1.

READ: Updates on the status of Biotech Corn and Golden Rice in the Philippines

Bt eggplant, Bt corn, and Golden Rice are some of the GMO crops that passed the comprehensive regulatory system for GMO crops that involves several government agencies and a rigorous scientific assessment. This ensures the safety of GMO crops for human health, and the environment.
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Canada: Will not regulate gene-edited crops as GMOsCanada:


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | May 5, 2023

Credit: Maaark/Pixabay (CC0)
Credit: Maaark/Pixabay (CC0)

[May 3], the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced updated guidance for seed regulations that will provide clear direction for plant breeders so that Canadian farmers can access new seed varieties, enhance sustainable food production and be more resilient in the face of today’s challenges. The Government of Canada is also strengthening transparency measures for products of plant breeding innovation and investing in the Canadian Organic Standards to protect the integrity of the organic sector.

Plant breeding innovations allow new plant varieties to be developed more effectively and efficiently than through conventional breeding. This can benefit farmers and consumers by providing them with access to plants and seeds that are both safe for humans, animals, and the environment. These varieties can also be more resistant to extreme temperature, precipitation, and insects, helping us adapt to climate change, feed a growing population and keep food costs down for consumers.

Through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)’s updated guidance for Part V of the Seeds Regulations, seed developers will be able to confidently invest in new products while maintaining the high standard of safety that Canada is known for domestically and internationally.

This update builds on a similar update last year to the Novel Food Regulations by Health Canada.

To help maintain the integrity of organic certifications, which allow the use of conventional seed but not gene edited seed, the government is announcing a series of measures to ensure transparency in how the seed is produced. Firstly, the creation of a Government-Industry Steering Committee on Plant Breeding Innovations Transparency to facilitate ongoing discussions as gene-edited products are introduced in the marketplace. Secondly, the expansion of the Seeds Canada Canadian Variety Transparency Database to provide transparency around individual seed varieties. Thirdly, federal oversight of the Canadian Variety Transparency Database to ensure the completeness and robustness of the database.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on sustainable agriculture, biomedicine, and other ‘disruptive’ innovations. Subscribe to our newsletter.


These measures are informed by the recommendations and the work of the Industry-Government Technical Committee on Plant Breeding Innovation Transparency, which is comprised of members from the organic, conventional, and seed sectors, as well as officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada. Their continued engagement will enable the Canadian Variety Transparency Database to succeed, ensuring the transparency of seed innovations in Canada.

In addition to these measures, Minister Bibeau announced that the Government will once again provide funding to support the review of Canada’s organic standards, which are updated every five years and due for renewal in 2025.

The United States, Japan, Australia, Argentina and Brazil have clarified the pathway for gene-edited products. New Zealand, the UK and the European Union (EU) are in the process of doing so.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and the environment through science and evidence-based decision-making, and recognizes that new plant breeding innovations, including gene-editing, allow new plant varieties to be developed more efficiently than conventional breeding.


“As the agriculture sector faces the challenge of feeding a growing world population in the midst of climate change, innovation is an incomparable tool to increase our production safely and sustainably. While facilitating the development of new plant varieties from plant breeding innovations, in light of discussions with the government-industry committee, we will protect the integrity of organic certification.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The Canadian Federation of Agriculture supports the release of CFIA’s new guidance on plant breeding innovation and ongoing commitment to transparency for producers. This will ultimately help Canadian farmers access new plant varieties that are more resilient to pests and extreme weather events and support our food security and sustainability objectives. The news that AAFC will help fund a review of the Canadian Organic Standards is also a welcome announcement. These two elements will help ensure farmers can continue to make informed decisions on what they produce.”

– Keith Currie, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture

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China: Safety of first gene-edited crop approved


BEIJING, May 4 (Reuters) – China has approved the safety of a gene-edited soybean, its first approval of the technology in a crop, as the country increasingly looks to science to boost food production.

The soybean, developed by privately owned Shandong Shunfeng Biotechnology Co., Ltd, has two modified genes, significantly raising the level of healthy fat oleic acid in the plant.

The safety certificate has been approved for five years from April 21, according to a document published last week by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Unlike genetic modification, which introduces foreign genes into a plant, gene editing alters existing genes.

The technology is considered to be less risky than GMOs and is more lightly regulated in some countries, including China, which published rules on gene-editing last year.

“The approval of the safety certificate is a shot in the arm for the Shunfeng team,” said the firm in a statement to Reuters on Thursday.

Shunfeng claims to be the first company in China seeking to commercialise gene-edited crops.

It is currently researching around 20 other gene-edited crops, including higher yield rice, wheat and corn, herbicide-resistant rice and soybeans and vitamin C-rich lettuce, said a company representative.

United States-based company Calyxt also developed a high oleic soybean, producing a healthy oil that was the first gene-edited food to be approved in the U.S. in 2019.

Several additional steps are needed before China’s farmers can plant the novel soybean, including approvals of seed varieties with the tweaked genes.

The approval comes as trade tensions, erratic weather and war in major grain exporter Ukraine have increased concerns in Beijing over feeding the country’s 1.4 billion people.

A growing middle class is also facing a surge in diet-related disease.

China is promoting GMO crops too, starting large-scale trials of GM corn this year.

Getting gene-edited crops onto the market is expected to be faster however, given fewer steps in the regulatory process.

Aside from the United States, Japan has also approved gene-edited foods, including healthier tomatoes and faster-growing fish.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton Editing by Christina Fincher)


US (FL): Tomato plants resistant to target spot


University of Florida researchers may have found the key to developing tomatoes that can resist a catastrophic disease.

Although it has been around for 50 years, target spot of tomato has become increasingly problematic during the last few years. The disease causes lesions in both leaves and fruits. It’s commonly found in the tropics and the subtropics worldwide.

Target spot of tomato is caused by a fungus that infects hundreds of types of plants, including other crops like rubber trees, cotton, soybean and cucumbers.

“No current tomato varieties resist the disease, and the only way to control it is through fungicides. However, target spot is increasingly resistant to several common fungicides, which drives us to develop resistant varieties,” said Edgar Sierra, who just completed his doctoral dissertation on target spot resistance for the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Working with his faculty advisors at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Sierra used growth rooms to screen tomato seedlings for disease and discover sources of resistance. Then he tested mature plants in the field to understand how useful this resistance may be.

Results from field trials demonstrated that plants with target-spot resistance held up against the disease, even without fungicide sprays.

“We wanted to prove that the resistance identified in seedlings would translate to the mature plants in the field, and that was successful,” Sierra said. “This is very exciting, especially given that it’s difficult to find plants that resist pathogens such as target spot. This is also a very challenging disease because it is very easy to confuse it with other common diseases like bacterial spot or early blight.”

One of Sierra’s advisors is Sam Hutton, a UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences and a tomato breeder at GCREC.

“Edgar’s findings are leading to development of the very first commercial varieties with target spot resistance, which should help provide more effective disease control, reduce disease-management costs and reduce pesticide applications,” Hutton said. “More research into the underlying genetics behind this resistance will further improve our ability to develop resistant tomato varieties and may also lead to improved resistance to this disease in other crops.”

Fresh-market tomatoes are very popular worldwide, and farmers in the southeastern United States produce many of them. In Florida, fresh-market tomatoes bring in $400 million to $500 million annually.

“Together with an integrated disease-management plan, tomato hybrids with this novel resistance will help curb this increasingly relevant problem for tomato growers,” Sierra said.


Publication date: Thu 4 May 2023


Rice disease ID: App identifies rice disease at early stages


Rice disease ID: App identifies rice disease at early stages

December 12, 2022

by David Bradley, Inderscience Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Rice is one of the most important food crops for billions of people but the plants are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases that are not always easy to identify in the field. New work in the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation has investigated whether an application based on a convolution neural network algorithm could be used to quickly and effectively determine what is afflicting a crop, especially in the early stages when signs and symptoms may well be ambiguous.

Manoj Agrawal and Shweta Agrawal of Sage University in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, suggest that an automated method for rice disease identification is much needed. They have now trained various machine learning tools with more than 4,000 images of healthy and diseased rice and tested them against disease data from different sources. They demonstrated that the ResNet50 architecture offers the greatest accuracy at 97.5%.

The system can determine from a photograph of a sample of the crop whether or not it is diseased and if so, can then identify which of the following common diseases that affect rice the plant has: Leaf Blast, Brown Spot, Sheath Blight, Leaf Scald, Bacterial Leaf Blight, Rice Blast, Neck Blast, False Smut, Tungro, Stem Borer, Hispa, and Sheath Rot.

Overall, the team’s approach is 98.2% accurate on independent test images. Such accuracy is sufficient to guide farmers to make an appropriate response to a given infection in their crop and thus save both their crop and their resources rather than wasting produce or money on ineffective treatments.

The team emphasizes that the system works well irrespective of the lighting conditions when the photograph is taken or the background in the photograph. They add that accuracy might still be improved by adding more images to the training dataset to help the application make predictions from photos taken in disparate conditions.

More information: Shweta Agrawal et al, Rice plant diseases detection using convolutional neural networks, International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation (2022). DOI:


Australia: Managing banana pests and diseases


Media Release

Publication date: 18 May 2023

Banana growers managing over 600 commercial banana properties along the east coast of Australia are being armed with an arsenal of tools to guard against significant pests and diseases through a $1.7M collaboration.

Delivered through Hort Innovation and led by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, the surveillance and grower education program provides an array of tools to protect the $500 million banana industry and educate growers on how to recognise early disease symptoms and manage diseases more effectively. This has been through farm visits, workshops, grower groups and other resources such as videos that provide tips for detecting new infections.

Hort Innovation chief executive officer Brett Fifield said addressing the threat of significant banana diseases, as well improving grower capacity to manage them, is a critical priority for the banana industry.

“Research shows if Panama TR4 alone was to spread widely it would cost the Australian banana industry $5 billion over ten years. The challenge of having to deal with TR4 in combination with other significant banana diseases on a property would have an even more serious impact.”

TR4 is currently contained to Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is considered the biggest threat to Australian banana growers. However, if left unchecked, there are a range of other pests and diseases that could be just as devastating to the banana industry and the communities it supports. Losses through on-farm management of leaf diseases (yellow Sigatoka and Leaf Speckle) run to tens of millions of dollars per year and, if Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) were to spread in Far North Queensland, losses have been estimated at $16-20 million per year.

“That is why the banana industry is investing its levies heavily into a suite of programs through Hort Innovation that reduce the spread and impact of pests and diseases and ensure any new incidents are picked up as quickly as possible,” Mr Fifield said.

Australian Banana Growers’ Council project leader Rosie Godwin said the goal of the surveillance and education project is to boost the banana industry’s ability to prevent, manage, and reduce the impact of biosecurity threats.

“The presence of Bunchy Top on a property, if left unchecked, can make a business unviable within 18 months. On top of that, Bunchy Top symptoms alongside heavy infestation of Leaf Spot and Leaf Speckle could mask symptoms of TR4 and reduce the efficacy of surveillance, detection and containment,” Dr Godwin said.

“By directly including growers and farm advisors in surveillance and biosecurity programs, we are supercharging our biosecurity efforts and increasing the likelihood of early detection. Banana growers know their own properties better than anyone else, so even a little bit of training goes a long way.”

Third-generation banana grower and ABGC director Andrew Serra, from Tolga in Far North Queensland, said the project provides growers with the tools they need to be on the front foot when it comes to protecting their property and the industry more broadly.

“The ABGC team provide invaluable surveillance and training for banana growers like myself. As far as I’m concerned, we have got more than enough to deal with when it comes to pests and diseases, particularly with TR4. If Banana Bunchy Top was detected in the major production areas of Far North Queensland on top of that, it could decimate our industry, let alone any other biosecurity threat not currently present in Australia.”

Mr Fifield will be speaking more about this project and other Hort Innovation investments for the banana industry at the Australian Banana Congress tomorrow at 8am.

Lauren Jones

Content Manager

Contact details

0427 140 765Send an email


Florida USA: The Hibiscus Button Weevil (El Picudo del Botón del Hibisco)


Alexandra M Revynthi, German Vargas, Yisell Velazquez Hernandez, Paul E Kendra, Daniel Carrillo y Catharine M Mannion


El picudo del botón del hibisco (Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell, Coleoptera: Curculionidae) es una plaga del hibisco (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L., Malvales: Malvaceae), originaria del noroeste de México y sur de Texas, que fue visto en Florida por primera vez en mayo del 2017 (Skelley y Osborne 2018). El incremento de las poblaciones del picudo entre 2019 y 2020 impactó negativamente la industria del hibisco en el sur de Florida durante el periodo de empaque en la primavera, lo que resultó en grandes pérdidas económicas. Florida lidera la producción de hibisco a nivel nacional, donde la mayoría de la producción en viveros ocurre en el sur del estado. Aproximadamente entre el 20 y el 25% de las plantas vendidas en el condado de Miami-Dade son hibiscos, donde el valor del mercado de plantas ornamentales fue de 697 millones (precio en el vivero) en 2017 (Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos, 2017). El picudo del botón del hibisco es una plaga regulada por la División de Industria Vegetal del Departamento de Agricultura y Servicios al Consumidor (FDACS-DPI, por sus siglas en inglés). De acuerdo con esta designación, cualquier vivero que sea identificado con la presencia de la plaga debe firmar y seguir un acuerdo de cumplimiento con el FDACS-DPI para reducir las probabilidades de dispersión del picudo. El propósito de este documento es proveer información acerca de esta importante plaga a productores de viveros y al público interesado.


El picudo del botón del hibisco (Orden Coleoptera) pertenece a la familia de los picudos (Curculionidae) y a su vez pertenece al grupo de especies conocido como Anthonomus squamosus de la tribu Anthonomini. Este grupo de especies se caracteriza por tener insectos predominantemente cubiertos de escamas (Clark et al. 2019) (Figura 1). La longitud del cuerpo del adulto está entre 2,5 y 2,7 mm y el pico es de aproximadamente 1 mm de largo.

Figura 1. Adulto de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus, a) vista lateral y b) vista dorsal.
Credit: Daniel Carrillo, UF/IFAS TREC

Las hembras se pueden distinguir de los machos mediante dos características, una es la protibia (el cuarto segmento del primer par de patas) y otra es el abdomen. En la protibia las hembras tienen un uncus apical y subapical, prominencia interior-marginal (mucron) (estructura en forma de espuela del lado interno de la tibia) (Figura 2a), que está ausente en los machos (Figura 2b). Adicionalmente, la parte posterior del quinto tergito abdominal (margen del quinto segmento abdominal) es recto en las hembras (Figura 3a, derecha) y curvo en los machos (Figura 3b, izquierda). La validez de estos caracteres fue confirmada mediante la disección de la genitalia de los picudos (Figura 4).

Protibia de la hembra (a) y del macho (b) de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus. La prominencia interior-marginal subapical (circulo; mucron) está presente en hembras, pero está ausente en machos.
Figura 2. Protibia de la hembra (a) y del macho (b) de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus. La prominencia interior-marginal subapical (circulo; mucron) está presente en hembras, pero está ausente en machos.
Credit: Daniel Carrillo, UF/IFAS TREC
a) Abdomen del macho y b) de la hembra de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus. La parte posterior del quinto tergito en las hembras es recto (a, flecha a la derecha) y es curvo en machos (b, flecha a la derecha). Las hembras (a, flecha a la izquierda) tienen un pequeño pigidio (última parte del cuerpo que está expuesto cuando los élitros están en reposo) en comparación con los machos (b, flecha a la izquierda).
Figura 3. a) Abdomen del macho y b) de la hembra de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus. La parte posterior del quinto tergito en las hembras es recto (a, flecha a la derecha) y es curvo en machos (b, flecha a la derecha). Las hembras (a, flecha a la izquierda) tienen un pequeño pigidio (última parte del cuerpo que está expuesto cuando los élitros están en reposo) en comparación con los machos (b, flecha a la izquierda).
Credit: Daniel Carrillo, UF/IFAS TREC
Genitalia a) de la hembra y b) del macho de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus.
Figura 4. Genitalia a) de la hembra y b) del macho de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus.
Credit: Daniel Carrillo, UF/IFAS TREC

Los huevos son blancos cuando están recién depositados y se tornan amarillos al madurar (Figura 5). Las larvas del picudo del hibisco son de un color entre transparente y amarillo, tienen una cápsula cefálica bien definida y están desprovistas de patas torácicas (Figura 6). El tamaño de las larvas varía con el tamaño de los botones florales en donde se encuentran. En general, los botones florales grandes contienen larvas de mayor tamaño.

Múltiples huevos son depositados por las hembras de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus en las anteras del hibisco y dentro del botón floral.
Figura 5. Múltiples huevos son depositados por las hembras de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus en las anteras del hibisco y dentro del botón floral.  
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC 
a) Instar temprano y b) tardío de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus alimentándose en polen.
Figura 6. a) Instar temprano y b) tardío de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus alimentándose de polen.  
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC 

Rango de hospederos y daño

Los picudos pertenecientes al grupo de Anthonomus squamosus están asociados con especies de plantas de las familias Asteraceae o Malvaceae. El picudo del botón del hibisco, A. testaceosquamosus ha sido asociado con múltiples especies de plantas, todas dentro de la familia Malvaceae (Tabla 1).

Tabla 1. Especies de plantas en las cuales el picudo del botón del hibisco Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell ha sido encontrado (Clark et al. 2019).


Los adultos del picudo se alimentan principalmente de botones florales, tallos y en menor medida de hojas del hibisco. Las hembras ovipositan en los botones florales y las larvas se desarrollan en el interior del botón, causando la caída de este antes de la floración. Los síntomas incluyen perforaciones en los tallos y botones a punto de abrir (Figura 7), y caída severa de botones bajo condiciones de alta densidad de la plaga. El daño producido por la alimentación en las hojas no es muy llamativo. En viveros del sur de Florida, las variedades rosadas y amarillas parecen ser más susceptibles al picudo que las rojas y otras variedades (Tabla 2). La variedad rosada ‘Painted Lady’ y la variedad amarilla ‘Sunny Yellow’ son reportadas como las variedades más susceptibles. La variedad roja ‘President Red’ es reportada como la más resistente.

Tabla 2. Variedades de hibisco cultivadas en Florida que han sido encontradas infestadas por el picudo del botón del hibisco (Anthonomus testaceosquamosus).


En Florida, otra especie del grupo Anthonomus squamosus, Anthonomus rubricosus, ha sido reportada infestando algodón y plantas de hibisco (Clark et al. 2019; Loiácono et al. 2003). Sin embargo, no existen reportes recientes de su establecimiento en plantas de hibisco en Florida. Este picudo es similar en tamaño al picudo del hibisco, pero es de color café. El genero Anthonomus incluye varias especies de gran importancia agrícola, como el picudo del algodonero, Anthonomus grandis. Las plagas del género Anthonomus más importantes desde el punto de vista económico en Florida son el picudo del chile Anthonomus eugenii y el picudo de la acerola Anthonomus macromalus. El picudo del chile ataca plantas de la familia Solanaceae, particularmente chiles (Capsicum spp.) (Capinera 2002), mientras que el picudo de la acerola ataca la cereza de Barbados (Malpighia glabra, Familia: Malpighiaceae) (Hunsberger y Peña 1998).

Daños causados por la alimentación de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus en hibisco a) botón floral con adulto del picudo y b) daño en peciolo.
Figura 7. Daños causados por la alimentación de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus en hibisco a) botón floral con adulto del picudo y b) daño en peciolo.
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC

La caída de los botones también puede ser causada por la mosquita de la flor (Contarinia maculipennis, Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), que puede ser confundida con daño por parte del picudo del botón del hibisco (Mannion et al. 2006). Ambas plagas pueden infestar la misma planta de hibisco; sin embargo, rara vez se encuentran en el mismo botón floral. Botones infestados con la mosquita de la flor tienen internamente múltiples larvas de mosca de color entre blanco y amarillo que saltan cuando son molestadas. Las larvas de la mosquita de la flor no tienen una cabeza distinguible y patas, y necesitan abandonar el botón para empupar en el suelo, mientras que la larva del picudo del hibisco tiene cabeza y empupa dentro del botón floral (Figuras 8 y 9).

a) Larva del picudo del botón del hibisco, Anthonomus testaceosquamosus y b) larva de la mosquita de la flor, Contarinia maculipennis.
Figura 8. a) Larva del picudo del botón del hibisco, Anthonomus testaceosquamosus y b) larva de la mosquita de la flor, Contarinia maculipennis.
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC
Larva de la mosquita de la flor (Contarinia maculipennis) saliendo del botón floral. La foto muestra el daño causado por la alimentación de las larvas en el botón floral.
Figura 9. Larva de la mosquita de la flor (Contarinia maculipennis) saliendo del botón floral. La foto muestra el daño causado por la alimentación de las larvas en el botón floral.
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC


Las hembras del picudo del botón del hibisco ovipositan entre 3 y 5 huevos en un solo botón floral y cerca de las anteras (Figura 4). Una vez que las larvas eclosionan se alimentan de polen y permanecen dentro del botón floral hasta alcanzar el estado adulto. Debido a una alta incidencia de canibalismo en el estado de larva, no todos los huevos depositados en un botón llegan al estado adulto; sin embargo, varios adultos pueden emerger de un solo botón floral. A una temperatura de 26,7 °C (8 0°F), los huevos pueden emerger entre 2 y 3 días. El estado de larva tiene tres instares y puede durar, en promedio, 10 días. El estado de pupa dura entre 2,9 a 4,2 días (Figura 10). El desarrollo entre el estado de huevo y el adulto puede tomar entre 12,8 y 15,3 días, en el cual se ha observado una sobrevivencia de hasta el 90%. La longevidad de los adultos tiene un rango entre 13 y 169 días, y los machos viven por más tiempo que las hembras. Cuando los adultos son alimentados solamente usando polen pueden sobrevivir hasta 52 días. Los adultos sobreviven un promedio de 28 días sin acceso a alimento, pero con acceso a agua, y pueden sobrevivir 16 días sin alimento y sin agua. La proporción sexual es de 1:1 hembras por machos (Revynthi et al. 2022).

Pupa de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus.
Figura 10. Pupa de Anthonomus testaceosquamosus.
Credit: Juleysy Rodríguez y Yisell Velázquez Hernández, UF/IFAS TREC

Temperaturas extremas ya sean bajas o altas parecen ser perjudiciales para el desarrollo de las larvas del picudo. En experimentos de laboratorio en la Universidad de Florida, a 10 °C (50 °F) no hubo eclosión de huevos, mientras que a 15 °C (59 °F) hubo eclosión 12 días luego de la oviposición, pero las larvas no se alimentaron y eventualmente murieron. De manera similar, a 38,8 °C (93 °F) los huevos eclosionaron luego de 5,6 días, pero ninguna larva llegó al estado de pupa (Revynthi et al. 2022). En el sur de Florida, el pico de actividad de este picudo ha sido observado desde marzo hasta junio con bajas poblaciones desde septiembre hasta febrero.

Desarrollo de técnicas de manejo de plagas y monitoreo

Los programas de manejo integrado de plagas dirigidos al picudo del botón del hibisco contienen una combinación de prácticas culturales, sanitización, control químico y control biológico. La rotación de cultivos con especies no hospederas ha sido recomendada para interrumpir los ciclos de población (Bográn et al. 2003). La sanitización incluye la recolección y destrucción sistemática de todos los botones caídos al suelo. A pesar de que la sanitización es una labor de alta demanda de mano de obra, ha sido propuesta como una de las prácticas más eficientes en el manejo de esta plaga puesto que evita la reinfestación de las plantas con nuevos adultos (Bográn et al. 2003). Actualmente no existen insecticidas registrados específicamente para el control del picudo del botón del hibisco en Florida, pero los cultivadores pueden usar legalmente insecticidas que están registrados para su uso en viveros. La FDACS-DPI tiene una lista de insecticidas recomendados para el control de esta plaga. Las pruebas de eficacia de varios insecticidas registrados para picudos/coleópteros y otras plagas especificas en plantas ornamentales están actualmente en desarrollo. Hasta la fecha no existen reportes de enemigos naturales del picudo del botón del hibisco, pero en la actualidad se está estudiando el potencial uso de hongos y de nematodos entomopatógenos como agentes de control biológico.

Varias especies dentro del género Anthonomus son atraídas hacia un grupo de atrayentes comerciales que consisten en feromonas de agregación del macho y compuestos volátiles vegetales (Tumlinson et al. 1969; Eller et al. 1994; Innocenzi et al. 2001). Existen cuatro componentes de la feromona sintética de agregación del macho, también conocidos como Grandlures (I-IV). En la actualidad se está estudiando el uso de trampas de feromonas utilizadas ampliamente en otras especies de Anthonomus, para el caso del picudo del botón del hibisco. En Texas, las trampas de feromonas desarrolladas para el picudo del algodonero (A. grandis) fueron evaluadas, sin éxito, en la captura de adultos del picudo del botón del hibisco (Bográn et al. 2003). Sin embargo, los autores plantean que esto pudo haber ocurrido ante una ubicación temprana de las trampas de acuerdo con la temporada de aparición de los adultos. Las trampas pegajosas amarillas son las trampas más atractivas para varias especies de Anthonomus (Cross et al. 2006; Szendrei et al. 2011; Silva et al. 2018). Actualmente se adelantan pruebas de campo que estudian el poder atrayente de las feromonas del picudo del algodonero (A. grandis) y del picudo del chile (A. eugenii), y para poder identificar el mejor tipo de trampa para capturar los adultos del picudo del botón del hibisco. Es necesario un programa de manejo integrado de plagas que implemente las estrategias mencionadas anteriormente para regular las poblaciones de A. testaceosquamosus en Florida y disminuir el impacto económico causado por esta especie.


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Publication #ENY-2069S

Date: 4/24/2023

Featured Creatures (en espanol)

Featured Creatures (en espanol)

Entomology and Nematology

Entomology and Nematology

Tropical REC

Tropical REC



About this Publication

Este documento ENY-2069S, hace parte de la serie de Extensión del Departamento de Entomología y Nematología de la Universidad de la Florida, UF/IFAS. La fecha original de publicación es agosto de 2021. Por favor visite la página web de EDIS en para la versión de soporte de esta publicación.

About the Authors

Alexandra M. Revynthi, Departamento de Entomología y Nematología, UF/IFAS Centro de Investigación y Educación Tropical; German Vargas, Departamento de Entomología y Nematología, UF/IFAS Centro de Investigación y Educación Tropical; Yisell Velazquez-Hernández, Departamento de Entomologia y Nematologia, UF/IFAS Centro de Investigacin y Educacioón Tropical; Paul E. Kendra, USDA ARS, Estación Experimental en Horticultura Subtropical; Daniel Carrillo, Departamento de Entomologia y Nematologia, UF/IFAS Centro de Investigación y Educación Tropical; y Catharine M Mannion, Departamento de Entomología y Nematología, UF/IFAS Centro de Investigación y Educación Tropical.