When you're munching on French fries or potato chips, you're probably not thinking about the potato...
The potato psyllid, a pest of potatoes, transmits a bacteria that causes zebra chip disease. (Photo by Don Henne)
Multiple species of Phytophthora have been identified in production facilities of plants used in reforestation and restoration projects. There's a risk that infected plant stock will lead to Phytophthora species establishing and spreading in habitats that, having never experienced their presence, may be highly susceptible to infection. Eradication of these pathogens, once introduced into wildlands, is impossible. Thus, monitoring nursery stock is key, but sampling large production lots is still prohibitively complex and expensive. We tested three new sampling approaches that are practical for large production lots: baiting of small portions of symptomatic plant material pooled from multiple samples in addition to whole plant sampling; baiting of bench irrigation leachate; and training dogs to identify the pathogens. The first two methods detected Phytophthora with a high confidence level directly from batches of plants, but they are not designed to identify each infected plant specifically. Trained dogs identified individual batches of soil and water containing Phytophthora with a 100% accuracy and the research is continuing, to see if dogs can recognize the pathogen from individual infected plants and plant parts and discriminate its smell from other scents.
Verhoeven E, Pereira E, Decock C, Garland G, Kennedy T, Suddick E, Horwath W, Six J. 2017. N2O emissions from California farmlands: A review. Calif Agr 71(3):148-159. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2017a0026.
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It's not outlandish now, if it ever were. A recent article in Science headlined "Once Considered...
UC Davis ecologist Rick Karban has researched plant communication in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) on the east side of the Sierra since 1995.
Upcoming CAS/UC/CAC Seminar Addresses
Gibberellic Acid Use
The California Avocado Society will host the first of its 2019 California Avocado Growers Seminar Series with workshops focused on mulch and Phytophthora. Dr. Ben Faber, Dr. Tim Spann and Dr. Carol Lovatt will deliver presentations at the seminars.
Dr. Ben Faber, UC Cooperative Extension Soils/Water/Subtropical Crops Farm Advisor, will speak about the benefits of using mulch in avocado groves. Ben will discuss the various types of mulch that can be used, how and when to apply them and the benefits of using mulch in avocado groves.
Dr. Tim Spann, California Avocado Commission Research Program Director, will cover Phytophthora 101. Tim will discuss what phytophthora species affect avocados, how to recognize symptoms of phytophthora infection in avocados and best management practices for dealing with phytophthora.
Dr. Carol Lovatt, UC Riverside Emeritus Professor of Plant Physiology, will discuss the use of gibberellic acid (GA) plant growth regulator on avocados. A special local needs registration was obtained in early 2018 for use of GA on avocado in California. Carol will discuss the benefits of using GA, and when and how to apply it for those growers interested in trying this new tool.
The seminars will be held as follows:
Tuesday, February 5, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
SLO Farm Bureau, 4875 Morabito Place, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Wednesday, February 6, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
UC Cooperative Extension Office Auditorium, 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, CA 93003
Thursday, February 7, 12: 30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Fallbrook Public Utility District Board Room, 990 East Mission Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028
And read more about Mulch Myths:
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We have a winner! Several UC Davis bumble bee enthusiasts--encouraged by native pollinator...
Check out the pollen on this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on manzanita, as photographed by Kim Chacon, UC Davis doctoral candidate on Jan. 10.
Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, heads for a manzanita blossom in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kim Chacon)
Close-up of a Bombus melanopygus heading for a manzanita blossom. (Photo by Kim Chacon)
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, teaching at The Bee Course last August. (Photo by Kim Chacon)