Emerging plant disease epidemics: Biological research is key but not enough

Text - scientific article/review article


The effective management of plant diseases is of fundamental importance for food production, forestry, and other plant-derived products, as well as for the sustainability of natural environments. When considering the impact of a plant pathogen, the financial costs incurred by an outbreak usually receive the most focus, but there are other much less understood consequences for the affected society, culture, and environment due to disease. This poorly studied layer of complexity is particularly relevant for emerging outbreaks, of which often only limited knowledge is available to devise management strategies, but decisions and actions must be made quickly. The recent outbreak of a bacterial plant pathogen in Europe illustrates how understanding not only the biology of an emerging pathogen but also the cultural context is critical for effectively communicating and engaging with stakeholders and policy makers in order to implement successful disease control strategies.


  • Xylella fastidiosa


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