|The origin and spread of viruses infecting vegetables and row crops-Lessons to be learned from past decades.|
W. MENZEL (1). (1) Leibniz Institute DSMZ - Plant Virus Department, Braunschweig, Germany
Intercontinental travel and trade has increased significantly in recent decades. Simultaneously, the number of emerging plant diseases has increased, posing a major threat to agricultural and horticultural production. In particular, many new viruses infecting crops of the plant families <i>Solanaceae</i> and <i>Cucurbitaceae</i> have been discovered in European and WANA countries in recent years. Frequently insect-vectored and seed transmitted viruses lead to significant problems, especially when they are also mechanically transmissible. Moreover, the vector species <i>Bemisia tabaci</i> can play an increasingly important role, considering future climatic changes. In this presentation, several current examples are presented and discussed. In order to minimize the spread of emerging viruses and potential crop losses early detection of virus diseases is critical. The availability of reliable data, validated diagnostic protocols and thoroughly characterized reference isolates is of crucial importance for diagnostic laboratories. The European initiative Q-bank (www.q-bank.eu), a web-portal focusing on species that are regulated in the European Union, aims to make such information available with the unique feature that it is linked to specimens present in publicly available physical collections. This will support efforts to limit the introduction and spread of diseases more effectively and to generally allow a faster response to new challenges in plant protection in a globalized environment.