Building regional capacity in Phytophthora diagnostics in Latin America

Building regional capacity in Phytophthora diagnostics in Latin America

Project Description

Plant disease is a limiting factor in agricultural production in Latin America. Plant pathogens cause losses
estimated to be as high as $30 billion per year. The risk of introduction of Phytophthora species through
trade requires continued monitoring and improved diagnostic capabilities. Accurate identification of Phytophthora has important implications for growers in Latin America and the United States.

The objective of this international team, led by Jean Ristaino of North Carolina State University, is to deploy a platform of tools needed to detect, identify, and ultimately prevent spread of species of Phytophthora, with a major focus on common and high threat species of Phytophthora on horticultural crops in Latin America.

For this continuation project, the team taught a Phytophthora diagnostic workshop at the Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano, in the fall of 2013 and deployed a series of technologies including: a protocols book, a Lucid key, molecular and digital diagnostic identification systems to identify Phytophthora species and improve the diagnostic capabilities for important plant disease clinics in the region. This project continued the expansion of the Latin American Phytophthora Diagnostic Network (LAPDN), established in a previous project also led by Dr. Ristaino.

USAID Objective