This year I was very interested in plant diseases. Why Plant Diseases? Because it is the next logical area that we need to improve.
To feed more people, prevent plants from going extinct we need to find solutions for plant diseases. My other reasons are a puzzle, and current solutions are bad.
You might have heard that there will be more people for a while. The human population is expected to grow in the near future. With more people, there is more of a need for food. Developed countries like the USA have already seen most of the gains from adopting fertilizer, pesticide, and superior cultivars. What is left? In these cases, it is the elimination of plant diseases that are left. Pests and pathogens prevent the maximum crop you can get. Without them causing problems you get more food.
I like plants. I also believe in is biodiversity. Curing plant diseases prevent some species from going extinct. There are a number of plants that their survival is being threatened by a plant disease. Some of these plants include: Elm, Oak, Chestnut, Palm including Coconut Palm, and Bananas.
Finding solutions for plant diseases keeps these plant species alive. This preserves biodiversity.
Something that is hard to step away from is a puzzle. An unsolved mystery. Plant diseases are puzzles that no-one has cracked yet. It is thrilling to think that you might be the one that helps solve a disease.
We have one solution for many of the plant diseases that we do not have a cure or treatment. It is to quarantine and destroy. Imagine if we used this same approach with people. Oh, you have a contagious disease yep, we’ll have to kill you now. It doesn’t make sense.
This is a poor solution and needs to be improved.
Now you know why plant diseases are so interesting.
Here are the plant diseases that I wrote about in 2017 and thought of or came across unusual ideas to cure them.
The Plant Diseases:
- Elm Phloem Necrosis
- Late Blight (Phytophthora infestans)
- Citrus Greening ( Candidatus Liberibacter spp.)
- Candidatus Phytoplasma solani
- Flavescence dorée (Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis)
- Tobacco Mosaic Virus
- Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
- Butternut Canker
- Lethal Yellowing of Palm
- Cypress Canker