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Agrobiodiversity / / Pest Diagnostics and Ecoinformatics Laboratory at CIAT: A New Weapon in the Prevention and Control of Invasive Tropical Pests

Pest Diagnostics and Ecoinformatics Laboratory at CIAT: A New Weapon in the Prevention and Control of Invasive Tropical Pests

CIAT has a new Pest Diagnostics and Ecoinformatics Laboratory. It brings together a team of entomologists, ecologists and geographers who are integrating databases on biodiversity and the environment. The goal is to provide early and timely information to prevent, detect, and control invasions of tropical pests. Leading this initiative is Aymer Andrés Vasquéz, a young researcher at the Center, were decisive in making this Laboratory a reality.

Green mites, Mononychellus tanajoa (left) and M. mcgregori (right), of most economic importance in cassava.

Among the datasets constructed is that for Mononychellus mites, which carries 1513 records collected between 1975 and 2012. These pests attack cassava, an essential crop for food security in the tropics. The database also offers the user free and open access to georeferenced data that are vitally important for establishing the climatic preferences of pests and for modeling the pests’ consequent potential distribution. Such modeling will help establish those sites within the world’s cassava-growing areas that, because of their climatic conditions, are at high risk of being invaded by pests such as mites.

Potential distribution of the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa (model generated through Maxent algorithm). Color convention corresponds to climatic suitability. Red = most suitable; White = least suitable.

Potential distribution of the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa (model generated through Maxent algorithm). Color convention corresponds to climatic suitability. Red = most suitable; White = least suitable.

The lab made each of the dataset’s records available via the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

An academic paper was written on this pioneering effort, describing the database’s sets of primary data, including biological records and species lists, which correspond to metadata. “It is precisely here—in this validated primary data—where the magic of this work lies. It gives added value and significance to all the research and other secondary information relying on this primary data”, says Soroush Parsa, CIAT entomologist.

Pest Ecoinformatics and Diagnostic Laboratory (PEDL) Team of CIAT: Soroush Parsa (Entomology Program leader), Rodrigo Zúñiga (PDEL technician), Aymer Andrés Vásquez-Ordóñez (PEDL coordinator), and Nicolás Hazzi (PEDL intern student).

Pest Ecoinformatics and Diagnostic Laboratory (PEDL) Team of CIAT: Soroush Parsa (Entomology Program leader), Rodrigo Zúñiga (PDEL technician), Aymer Andrés Vásquez-Ordóñez (PDEL coordinator), and Nicolás Hazzi (PDEL intern student).

The document was published as a Leading Data Paper in the scientific journal ZooKeys using the model from the Information System on Colombian Biodiversity (SiB, its Spanish acronym).

The work on the database has led to the strengthening of ties with Colombian institutions like SiB, the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, and the Colombian Agricultural and Livestock Institute (ICA). Ties have also crossed frontiers to extend collaborative bridges with research entities such as the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Yet, all that has so far been achieved is but a beginning. The CIAT entomology team plans to digitize all the records that the Center has compiled on the cassava whitefly and its parasitoids, having always in mind the importance of providing this information as a key input to facilitate decision making process in strategic management of invasive pests.

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  • Reinhardt Howeler: Thanks, Keith. It was a pleasure writing this book as it brought back so many good memories of working with cassava, both in Latin America and in Asia. I was lucky that the Nippon Foundation suggested that I write this book and financed its publication. They also wanted a simplified version for farmers and extension workers that could be translated into various languages. The English version of this new book is now going to press in Hanoi, while the Khmer and Vietnamese translations are also ready for printing and the Thai and Chinese translations are still being worked on. In case you are interested in the English version, let me know. My email address is still r.howeler@cgiar.org. And let me know where you are working now and what you are doing. Reinhardt
  • Peter de Vroome: Great invention! Could be very usefull in our research in fast detecting CFSD in our planting material. Is this kit already for sale? Peter de Vroome phytopathologist Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (C.E.L.O.S.)
  • German-funded research on climate-smart crop-livestock systemsSupport CIAT: […] Written by: Angela Fernando […]
  • Keith Fuglie: An impressive publication! Reinhardt Howeler has done an incredible job of summarizing lessons from nearly 30 years of work on cassava improvement in Asia. This very successful collaboration between CIAT and national research programs demonstrates what can be achieved through modest but persistent investment in agricultural research, even with a relatively neglected crop grown primarily by poor farm families in marginal environments.
  • Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect ve...: […] Jeff Stuart, an insect molecular geneticist from Purdue University, USA, is bringing new ideas to unravel the genetic secrets of insect vectors of crop virus diseases (RT @CGIAR: News: Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect vectors of crop virus...  […]
  • Kellan: i am also working on ppd on cassava. can you please help me find find a suitable protocol to analyse ppd.
  • ALI SALEM IBRAHIM: Hi we looking to start collaborations with ciat center if it,s possible.
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