Originally posted on The Plantwise Blog:

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (USDA image PD USDA ARS via Wikimedia Commons)

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (USDA image PD USDA ARS via Wikimedia Commons)

A species of whitefly that transmits cassava mosaic virus has been detected in South Africa for the first time. The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci is a cryptic species complex containing some important agricultural pests and virus vectors. The term ‘cryptic species complex’ means that Bemisia tabaci is considered to be a complex of at least 24 different species that look almost identical but are in fact genetically different.  Researchers from a range of organisations including the University of Johannesburg, the University of Witwatersrand and ARC-Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute conducted surveys to investigate the diversity and distribution of Bemisia tabaci species in 8 provinces in South Africa. The study aimed to update the information regarding the different Bemisia tabaci types present in the country.

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Originally posted on The Plantwise Blog:

Diamond shaped lesions characteristic of Ash Dieback Disease, caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. Image courtesy of The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), Crown Copyright.

Researchers are working towards developing a cost effective solution to controlling  Ash Dieback fungal disease, a major threat to 80 million ash trees in the UK. As part of the plan to tackle Ash Dieback and other invasive pests and diseases, the government has formulated a team of ten internationally recognised experts in plant health, forestry and wider related disciplines as part of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Taskforce. The taskforce includes three entomologists, Professor Charles Godfray from Oxford University, Professor Simon Leather from Harper Adams University College and Professor John Mumford from Imperial College as well as a number of social and environmental scientists.

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About the CABI Invasives blog

The CABI Invasives blog is an opportunity for scientists across our centres to highlight their research and debate topical issues in the field of invasive species.  We hope the blog will reflect the diversity of research projects and consultancies CABI scientists are involved in and can be used to spark wider debate in the field of invasives, whist ultimately working towards the reduction in occurrence and impact of invasive species across the globe through awareness raising and dissemination of scientific information and experiences.

CABI and invasive species

CABI is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organization. We improve people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. CABI has been working on sustainable solutions for the management of invasive species for almost 100 years. World-wide we research and implement biological control programmes against invasive plants, animals and microorganisms which cause an adverse detrimental effect in their areas of introduction.  We also study the impact of invasive species on the habitats they invade, advise on invasive species policy and produce books and tools for environmental managers, researchers and farmers.

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