Setting the stage for cassava disease monitoring: A baseline for Vietnam and Cambodia

Researchers tracked Sri Lankan cassava mosaic virus in Cambodia after its discovery in 2015. The potentially devastating virus threatens 3.5 million hectares, highlighting the need for disease-resistant varieties and rapid epidemic management.

Southeast Asia is the source of 95 percent of global cassava exports, and the detection in 2015 in Cambodia of the potentially harvest-devastating Sri Lankan cassava mosaic virus (SLCMV) raised alarm. By 2016, the disease – which cannot always be detected visually – had spread, showing its potential to become a major threat to the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farming families.

The virus’s spread over a single growing season was documented by researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and colleagues. Published February 22 in PLOS ONE by Minato et al., the study is the first systematic baseline evaluation of SLCMV in Southeast Asia, and provides information that can help decision-makers and development agencies to control the disease.

In full: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/icft-sts022119.php

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