Navigation Links
Invaders could devastate Florida avocado industry
Date:9/21/2010

HOMESTEAD, FLFlorida's lucrative avocado industry could face a serious blow from a duo of deadly new invaders. Together, the invasive fungus called "laurel wilt disease" and the redbay ambrosia beetle, which carries laurel wilt, represent a significant economic threat to the industry. According to a report published in HortTechnology, direct losses from the invasion could range from $183 million to a remarkable high of $356 million. "The impact on the local economy would be catastrophic", noted Dr. Edward A. Evans of the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center, one of the authors of the study.

Avocados are Florida's second-largest fruit industry (after citrus). The industry brings in substantial revenue to the state, resulting in an overall economic impact of about $54 million a year. More than 98% of 7,400 acres of commercial avocado orchards are located in southwestern MiamiDade County. Most growers depend on proceeds from the sale of avocado to supplement their income, while many packing houses depend almost exclusively on the crop to sustain their operations. Avocado orchards also offer a variety of nonfood benefits, including the retention of open space, landscaping, well-field recharge, and wildlife habitats.

In 2002, the redbay ambrosia beetle, along with its fungal symbiont, the laurel wilt pathogen, was introduced in Georgia on contaminated wood packing material. In 2005, humans spread the pest into northern Florida, and by 2007, laurel wilt had invaded central Florida, where the first avocado tree known to succumb to the pest was identified in Jacksonville. There are currently no registered fungicides that control laurel wilt in avocado. While chemical and/or biological control of the disease might be a possibility, little research currently exists that indicates methods for implementing disease prevention.

The scientists investigating the regional impacts of laurel wilt emphasized the critical need for quick action to address this rapidly moving disease. "The results of our investigation indicate that the direct loss to the industry in terms of lost sales, property damage, and increased management costs could range from $356 million in a do-nothing situation to about $183 million if damage control measure were 50% effective", stated Dr. Jonathan Crane, who headed the research effort. Crane added that this estimate could be considered conservative, since the study did not include the economic impact on noncommercial production, residential infestations, avocado or forest trees, scenic beauty, wildlife, or the loss of canopy cover.

The report concluded with recommendations to implement policies and ramp up research efforts aimed at decelerating the spread of the disease and developing effective treatments to preserve the important Florida avocado industry.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Visualizing viruses: new research pinpoints tiny invaders
2. Will Europe at last unite to combat thousands of alien invaders?
3. Food security for leaf-cutting ants: Workers and their fungus garden reject endophyte invaders
4. A scientific breakthrough could be the first step in a better treatment for leukemia patients
5. Chocolate farmers could benefit from newly sequenced cacao genome
6. Eating broccoli could guard against arthritis
7. New artificial skin could make prosthetic limbs and robots more sensitive
8. Texas A&M chemical engineers work could lead to improved DNA analysis
9. Cockroach brains could be rich stores of new antibiotics
10. Transition metal catalysts could be key to origin of life, scientists report
11. Problem of fake medicines in developing countries could be solved
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... Janice Kephart , former 9/11 ... Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following ... March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the ... be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation ... applications are suspended by until at least July ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a ... prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the ... face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased ... and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... London (ICR) and University of ... tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a ... . The University of Leeds is ... Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the testing services to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today ... of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, ... conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile ...
Breaking Biology Technology: