The final conference of TROPICSAFE will take place from 3 to 5 April. After 5 years of research on prokaryote-associated diseases transmitted by insects in tropical and subtropical perennial crops, TROPICSAFE closes its journey with a series of conferences, organised by crop, in which the three central diseases will be addressed: Grapevine Yellows (GY), huanglongbing (HLB) affecting citrus and coconut Lethal Yellowing (LY). The conference will take place in Bastia, France. The series of conferences will start at 14:00h CET every day and can be also followed online. Registration is compulsory.
The final event will cover all the areas of action on which TROPICSAFE has focused its research, managing to combat economically relevant bacterial diseases that affect coconut, citrus and grapevines by expanding knowledge about them. The discoveries that will be presented allow reducing insecticide treatments, making an early diagnosis with specific, reliable and economical detection methods, implementing classical biological control programmes, creating predictive models of pathogen and insect vector dispersal and, in short, developing new strategies for sustainable and ecological integrated pest management. Check the full agenda here.
Day 1: Grapevine Yellows
The event will begin by addressing grapevine yellows on Sunday 3 April. This disease is present in wine-growing regions all over the world, causing production losses of up to 60%. The session will be followed by a series of 12-minute presentations of the consortium members and a short discussion. The opening will be given by Assunta Bertaccini, coordinator of the project, who will give an overview of grapevine yellowing in the world.
As the focus of TROPICSAFE’s research on this disease was located in Chile, South Africa and Spain, the successive presentations will present different results and conclusions reached in these regions. Check the agenda here and became an expert on Grapevine Yellows.
Day 2: Citrus “huanglongbing”
The conferences will continue with a second day, Monday 4th April, in which “huanglongbing” (HLB) will be the center of the discussions. HLB disease is transmitted by the psyllids Diaphorina citri and Trioza erytreae, and severely reduces yield and performance of citrus in Asia, America and Africa. TROPICSAFE focuses in understanding the pathogen strains associated with severe epidemics and provide the use of diagnostic tools, new information about alternative host plants and the possibility to verify the absence of HLB in citrus in Europe.
The day kicks off with the screening of the Final video of TROPICSAFE, which summarises the mission and the activity of the project. Afterwards, we will enjoy a 20 min presentation of Leonardo Pena, head of Pre HLB project, focused on preventing HLB epidemics for ensuring citrus survival in Europe. He is the invited speaker and will explain the spreading and impact of HLB worldwide. After that, Cecile Morillon will present a success story about dissemination to a young audience: the creation of a comic strip on HLB entitled “Huanglongbing the citrus disease”. Find out the full agenda of the second day here, which will take us on a journey from Guadalupe to South Africa.
Day 3: Coconut palms Lethal Yellowing
This brings us to the third day of the event, Tuesday 5th April, when the results reached studying the coconut Lethal Yellowing (LY) will be discussed. LY is associated with the presence of different phytoplasmas worldwide, and it leads to the death of high percentages of coconut palms, especially in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. As on the other days, a series of presentations with discussions will follow, focused on clarifying the identity and spread of phytoplasmas in coconut palms in the surveyed countries, and their molecular characterization, which allows the determination of disease cycles and epidemiology.
In this occasion, the overview of the disease will be given by Wayne Myrie, Plant Pathologist from the Research Department of the Coconut Industry Board. Then, a wide variety of presentations will be given by partners of TROPICSAFE such as Wayne Myrie himself, Agya Ndede Yankey (CSIR-OPRI) or Carlos Oropeza (CICY), among others. Them all will help to a better understanding of the phytoplasma and its vectors as well as the diagnosis of the disease. You can consult here the agenda of the last day.