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Climate change and plant diseases

Agroinnova at the forefront of the international studio that closes the IYPH

Eleven researchers from all over the world have been asked to take stock of the studies conducted to date on the relationship between plant diseases and climate change and to design a strategy that is adopted by policy makers to prevent and mitigate the related risks. Climate change represents a very important challenge to fight for many scientific sectors. The research carried out all over the world on the impact that climate change has on plant diseases is not yet sufficient, but it already represents a good starting point for drawing conclusions and developing effective prevention and mitigation strategies.

This was the goal of the study strongly desired by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which involved 10 authors from all over the world (Spain, Iraq, Brazil, Australia, United States, South Africa, Germany, Lebanon , China and Jamaica) and was coordinated by teacher Maria Lodovica Gullino, director of Agroinnova, the center of competence for innovation in the agro-environmental field of the University of Turin.

2020 was the international year of plant health (IYPH2020), promoted by the International Plant Protection Convention (Ippc), a great opportunity to enhance and promote the role of plant health in the life of all citizens and to think about what the future holds and what actions will be needed to keep plants healthy and have safe and healthy food for all. Among the case studies taken into consideration by the review also the dreaded red palm weevil, which affected not only Mediterranean Europe but also the whole Middle East, the rust of coffee, the Xylella fastidiosa, which destroyed the olive groves in Puglia, downy mildew of potatoes and grapevines, and some species of fungi that produce mycotoxins. There are also some nematodes and weeds.

The steering committee of the IYPH2020 has thus collected the skills and experiences of plant pathologists, entomologists, botanists, climatologists and analysts from all over the world, with a very specific task: to put together the best prevention and mitigation strategies for the risks associated with pathogens. plants and climate change. The choice of the study coordinator, Prof. Maria Lodovica Gullino, then fell on those who have been working for years on the impact of climate change on plant diseases, on those who have worked so hard to promote IYPH2020 and on those who manage a international research center distinguished for large European projects and for the numerous collaborations active all over the world.

The study was officially presented by Maria Lodovica Gullino on June 1st through an online conference organized by FAO, which represents the arrival point for the IYPH2020 but also a starting point for those who will have to collect the legacy of this study on impact of climate change on plant health and making policy decisions.

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EFA News - European Food Agency