The world wide web has a number of valuable resources that can be used to keep track of plant diseases. Many countries have government sites and information resources devoted to the problem of reporting plant diseases. Collectively, these agencies and online connectivity and notification resources have the potential to provide an excellent means of communication.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides much useful information through its Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) web site. The APHIS/PPQ web site provides links to a number of useful information sources including state plant protection resources, and various biological control facilities. Interestingly, APHIS has an online site for Web-based training in diagnosis and emergency management of emerging animal diseases. We encourage this excellent idea to be extended to emerging plant disease concerns. APHIS provides information concerning a number of recurring and emerging plant health problems through a very useful search feature at the USDA home page.
The ProMed component known as "ProMed-plant" is one of the most innovative and useful tools for tracking emerging plant diseases, especially on a world-wide basis. It is internationally-based and receives reports of diseases worldwide. ProMed-plant has addressed a number of issues related to crop biosecurity. These topics can be reviewed by a search of the archives at the ProMed home page using the keyword, "plant."
Through interactions with the National Agricultural Library and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA maintains the Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC). In turn AgNIC collaborates with ProMed (see above) to maintain a sophisticated searchable archive of emerging plant diseases.
Also, in the United States the American Phytopathological Society has worked with North Carolina State University to provide up to date information through the New and Emerging Plant Diseases Project. This resource tracked emerging diseases as well as diseases that were migrating into new areas.
In Canada the Plant Disease Survey reports occurrences and other information about plant diseases in Canada. The survey can be downloaded from a number of servers connected with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, including the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research. The Canadian Phytopathological Society and Canadian News Service provide links to a number of information resources.
The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) also provides plant disease reporting information, with the intent to keep Europe and Russia informed on new outbreaks and emerging disease problems. This information can easily be obtained through the Plant Quarantine information and the EPPO Early Alert List. RETURN TO APSnet FEATURE STORY