|Author: ||J.L. Maas|
|Keywords: ||Macrophomina phaseolina, Fusarium oxysporum, Xanthomonas fragariae, Colletotrichum species, phytoplasma, virus, challenges for the future|
Strawberry disease diagnosis, pathogen identification, and disease control have progressed a great deal since 1988, the year of the First International Strawberry Symposium.
I am gratified to see such progress in the ISHS Strawberry Symposium series.
Pathologists have progressed from disease diagnosis based on plant symptoms, morphological examination of pathogens on selective and non-selective media, heavy dependence on fungicides and soil fumigation to accurate molecular means of identification, Integrated Pest Management, loss of pesticides, increased emphasis on plant resistance, and alternative biological methods of disease management.
However, the development of new cultivars and cultural systems, increased regulations for pesticide use, and labor concerns have contributed to increased incidences of “new” old fungal diseases, insect virus vectors, phytoplasmas and viruses affecting strawberry production.
The integration of host-plant genetic studies and pathogen studies should be intensified for optimum strawberry production.
There is a need to develop coordinated programs and develop long-term funding for cooperative programs to achieve the end products of healthy, disease-free plants and maximum fruit production.
New or lesser known diseases and pests will become more important as cultivars and cultural systems change and as chemical controls become either less economically beneficial or reduced by governmental regulations and funding for research becomes more difficult to support long-term programs.
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