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The importance of primary inoculum and area-wide disease management to crop health and food security

Author

Listed:
  • A. Bergamin Filho

    (Universidade de São Paulo)

  • A. K. Inoue-Nagata

    (Embrapa Hortaliças)

  • R. B. Bassanezi

    (Fundecitrus)

  • J. Belasque

    (Universidade de São Paulo)

  • L. Amorim

    (Universidade de São Paulo)

  • M. A. Macedo

    (Universidade de Brasilia)

  • J. C. Barbosa

    (Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa)

  • L. Willocquet

    (France and Université Toulouse)

  • S. Savary

    (France and Université Toulouse)

Abstract

In some epidemics that have devastating consequences, the primary inoculum plays an important role in both epidemic onset and intensification. This article documents the dynamics of such epidemics, and illustrates their importance using two examples: Huanglongbing of citrus and begomoviruses of tomato. The latter disease is a major constraint to tomato production in Brazil, while the former has become a threat to global citrus production and farmers’ livelihoods. In spite of their importance little is known of the characteristics of these diseases and their management. This is because classical botanical epidemiology considers two types of diseases: polycyclic diseases, where the inoculum that causes infections is produced during the epidemic in or on individual plants that had been previously infected in the course of that epidemic; or monocyclic diseases, where inoculum that causes infection is not produced in or on individual plants that had been infected in the course of the epidemic, but in the soil, on secondary hosts, or in infected crop plants of the same host in other fields. Diseases of the first type typically present a logistic disease progress curve and management is based on reducing the rate of infection, whereas diseases of the second type present a monomolecular disease progress curve and management is based on reducing the initial inoculum. This article deals with plant diseases that depart in their structure and behaviour from these two archetypes, because they borrow elements from both. We address polycyclic diseases in which the primary inoculum has a continuous and dynamic role, and in which the secondary inoculum contributes to epidemic build-up, i.e., polycyclic diseases with continuous primary spread. This epidemiological structure generates less clear-cut disease progress curves, but usually follows a monomolecular dynamic. Our focus on this type of disease is multifold because (1) this more complex, combined, pattern is actually quite common, often leading to grave plant diseases epidemics, with impacts at the farm, community, and country scales, and (2) such epidemics are among the most difficult to manage. Our analysis leads us to assess past errors and current courses of action. It allows us to recognize, in addition to the conventional tools for management with local effects, the critical importance of collective action. Collective management action – at the farm, community, or national scales – is congruent with the characteristics of many epidemics, because they also entail properties at successive and nested scales. The management of such epidemics needs to address both the primary and secondary inoculum. More importantly, these actions have to be performed in an area-wide, regional basis in order to be effective.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Bergamin Filho & A. K. Inoue-Nagata & R. B. Bassanezi & J. Belasque & L. Amorim & M. A. Macedo & J. C. Barbosa & L. Willocquet & S. Savary, 2016. "The importance of primary inoculum and area-wide disease management to crop health and food security," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 221-238, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:8:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-015-0544-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0544-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Savary, S. & Willocquet, L. & Teng, P. S., 1997. "Modelling sheath blight epidemics on rice tillers," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 359-384, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Garcia-Figuera & Elizabeth E. Grafton-Cardwell & Bruce A. Babcock & Mark N. Lubell & Neil McRoberts, 2021. "Institutional approaches for plant health provision as a collective action problem," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(2), pages 273-290, April.

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