Control of Plant Virus Diseases in Cool-Season Grain Legume Crops
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Cool-season grain legume crops become infected with a wide range of viruses, many of which cause serious diseases and major yield losses. This review starts by discussing which viruses are important in the principal cool-season grain legume crops in different parts of the world, the losses they cause and their economic impacts in relation to control. It then describes the main types of control measures available: host resistance, phytosanitary measures, cultural measures, chemical control, and biological control. Examples are provided of successful deployment of the different types of measures to control virus epidemics in cool-season grain legume crops. Next it emphasizes the need for integrated approaches to control because single control measures used alone rarely suffice to adequately reduce virus-induced yield losses in these crops. Development of effective integrated disease management (IDM) strategies depends on an interdisciplinary team approach to (i) understand the ecological and climatic factors which lead to damaging virus epidemics and (ii) evaluate the effectiveness of individual control measures. In addition to using virus-resistant cultivars, other IDM components include sowing virus-tested seed stocks, selecting cultivars with low seed transmission rates, using diverse phytosanitary or cultural practices that minimize the virus source or reduce its spread, and using selective pesticides in an environmentally responsible way. The review finishes by briefly discussing the implications of climate change in increasing problems associated with control and the opportunities to control virus diseases more effectively through new technologies.
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