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Emerging plant pathogens on ornamental crops in south Florida
Georgina Sanahuja Solsona: Tropical REC; Patricia Lopez: University of Florida; Stephanie Suarez: University of Florida; E. Vanessa Campoverde: University of Florida Extension Miami-Dade; Edward Evans: University of Florida - Tropical Research and Education Center; Aaron Palmateer: Bayer Environmental Science
<div>The state of Florida is geographically at risk for the introduction of new plant pathogens and insect pests due to it’s location, subtropical climate, and agro tourism industry. Florida’s hot and humid climate is highly favorable for newly introduced plant pathogens to become established and the movement of plant material through the ornamental industry creates an effective means for long distance dispersal. The University of Florida’s Extension Plant Diagnostic Clinic has reported six new ornamental diseases in 2016. Accurate identification and characterization of new plant pathogen introductions and the diseases they cause is the first and most important step in successful and effective disease management. This presentation provides examples of several newly emerging diseases affecting plants in the Florida landscape and in commercial production. One fungal plant pathogen, <i>Bipolaris oryzae</i> first reported causing brown spot disease on rice leaves in the United States has recently been reported on two new ornamental hosts plants including a popular bromeliad hybrid, <i>Aechmea tayoensis </i>and a tropical foliage plant, <i>Strelitzia nicolai</i>.<i> </i>Notably, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD) sequences extracted from <i>B. oryzae </i>isolates causing disease on <i>A. tayoensis </i>and <i>S. nicolai </i>were a 99% match with an isolate of <i>B. oryzae </i>previously reported causing disease on <i>Panicum virgatum </i>in New York. This is an excellent example of the potential for fungal pathogens to infect new plant host species.</div>

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