The PlantCTTM  system can be used for apples, olives, cocoa, coffee, rice and cotton, with other crops being added.



Apple (Malus X domestica) from Rosaceae family is a deciduous tree that originated in western Asia. It is currently one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees in the temperate climatic zone. The prominent role of this species could be thank to its extensive growing possibility, large productivity and comprehensive usability.

Did you know?

There are more than 7500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristic. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including in cooking, fresh eating and cider production.
At least 84.6 million metric tons of apples were commercially harvested worldwide in 2014 from more than 5 million hectares of orchards. China produced about 45% of this total.

apple diseases

Bacterial diseases
Fire blight - Erwinia amylovora

Fire blight of pome fruits is one of the most important bacterial diseases of plants in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is caused by the phytopathogenic bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al. which is able to induce huge economic losses in apple, pear and quince orchards under weather conditions optimal for its growth.

Apple scab - Venturia inaequalis

Apple scab, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, is one of the most significant disease of apple. It causes serious damages in wet vintage. Dark brown spots with feathery margins appear 7 to 21 days following infection. These scabs can help spread the infection, eventually defoliating the entire tree along with other trees nearby. Infected apples develop corky lesions which make them unmarketable. Apple scab overwinters in infected leaves on the orchard floor. The primary scab season lasts until all the ascospores from last year’s leaves have been released. This ends typically in late June.

Fungal diseases
Apple powdery mildew – Phodosphaera leucotricha’

Apple powdery mildew – Podosphaera leucotricha
Apple powdery mildew severly damages apple leaves, flowers, fruits, buds, shoots and twigs. In spring, the overwintered fungus is evident as ‘primary mildew’ on leaves newly emerged from buds infected during the previous growing season. Conidia from this ‘primary mildew’ disperse in air and initiate the annual epidemic of ‘secondary’ mildew on growing shoots. Infection process does not require surface wetness.

Apple brown rot - Monilinia fructigena

Apple brown rot diseases, caused by Monilinia fructigena, occurs on developed, maturing fruits exclusively. The pathogen infects the fruits through the wounds. Brown rotting patch is formed around the injury and later it expands to the whole fruit. The infection source are the fruit  mummies (pseudosclerotium), that can form conidia on exogenous stroma.

apple pests

Codling moth – Cydia pomonella

The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is a key pest in apple orchards. It is native to Europe and was introduced to North America, where it has become one of the regular pests in apple orchards. These moths prefer areas with an arid climate. It reproduces 3 or 4 times per season depending on climate and growing season. Insecticide applications should be timed for young (L1 – neonate larva stage) larvae emergence.

European red mites – Panonychus ulmi

It attacks many crops and ornamentals, it can be a serious pest of fruit trees. Most commonly a problem on apple, pear, plum, prune and cherry.
The mites over-winter as bright red eggs in dense clusters on the under-surfaces of branches and twigs on trees. The eggs hatch after the trees reach the greentip phenological phase. Further egg laying occurs during summer on the undersides of leaves. The mites feed by sucking the contents of leaf cells.

Two spotted spider mite - Tetranychus urticae

Heavy infestations of two spotted mite cause leaf bronzing and defoliation. The mite overwinters either as an orange, inactive, fertilised female in debris at the base of trees or as an active two spotted form breeding on leafy hosts. Phytoseiulus persimilis is an important predator. Populations often build up in December to January and cause severe damage.

San José Scale - Quadraspidiotus perniciosus

San José Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus Comst.), is one of the major pests in the apple growing districts of the world. No part of the tree is immune to its attack. Young trees may be killed, while mature trees may have their vigour permanently affected (Richards, 1961).


About 45 species of aphid was listed on apples worldwide by Blackman and Eastop (2006). Three of those species are commonly encountered on the orchard apple (Malus domestica) and crab apple (Malus sylvestris).
The rosy apple aphid host lives in spring on apple (Malus spp.) where it forms yellowish crumpled leaf galls. (Spring generations of the Dysaphis anthrisci / devecta group roll and redden the lateral margins of leaves of apple.) Aphids remain on apple until mid-summer by which time attacked shoots are stunted and twisted. Fruits from infested shoots are small and malformed. The species occurs in Europe, Africa, much of Asia and North and South America.
The apple aphid does not host alternate, because it feeds only on apple (Malus spp.) and related plants including pear (Pyrus), hawthorn (Crataegus), and Cotoneaster. It is distributed  throughout Europe, north Africa, Asia eastwards to India and Pakistan, and North America.




Grapevine is one of the oldest known crops to mankind. The Vitis vinifera species is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe and southwestern Asia – from Morocco to northern Iran, and from Portugal north to southern Germany.

More than 80 % of the harvested grapes are used in wine production worldwide. At least 74.5 million metric tons of grapes were commercially harvested globally in 2014 from more than 7 million hectares of vineyards(source: FaoStat).

Grape diseases

Downy mildew - Plasmopara viticola

Downy mildew is the most important key pathogen worldwide in vineyards. This pathogen has sexual and asexual spores and this trait strongly influences the epidemiological behaviour, which is chracterized by primary (sexual) and secondary (asexual) infection cycles that overlap for a part of the season.

Powdery mildew – Erysiphe necator

Powdery mildew is the most important grapevine pathogen in epidemiological perspective. The fungus can infect all green tissues on the grapevine but causes the most damage to leaves and berries (Caffi et. al., 2011). The impact powdery mildew infection has on a vineyard often depends on the timing of the first infection. Early fruit infections cause stunted berries, scarring, and off-flavors in wine. Powdery mildew also reduces the storage life of table grapes and can affect the rate of photosynthesis, thus reducing berry sugar content.

Phomopsis cane and leaf spot – Phomopsis viticola

Phomopsis cane and leaf spot on grapevine is caused by the fungus Phomopsis viticola. It develops during a wet springtime when spores are spread by rain splash. Cool wet weather and prolonged leaf wetness increase the appearance and severity of Phomopsis symptoms. Crop loss occurs as a result of girdling at the base of shoots, weakening and cracking of canes, which results in lower vine productivity. Yield loss can also occur due to infection of the bunch stems and from berry rot. Fungicides registered for use against Phomopsis are not effective if applied after the disease symptoms have appeared.

Black rot - Guignardia bidwellii

This disease is significant for causing the rot of grape berries and clusters. All cultivated varieties of grapes are susceptible to infection from black rot fungus. The extent of crop failure is influenced by weather factors. The start of infection and the time period of incubation depends on leaf wetness, relative humidity and average air temperature. A film of water on the vine surface is necessary for infection.

Grey mould or Botrytis bunch rot – Botrytis cinerea

Botrytis cinerea is a very significant pathogen in wine grapes. The disease regularly occurs in vineyard, the most critical stages for B. cinerea infection are flowering and the period between berry ripening and harvest. The pathogen colonizes senescent floral parts (stamens and calyptras) persisting in latent forms in bunches, and therefore providing the necessary inoculum for late infections during the maturation stage. The extent of crop failure is mainly influenced by weather factors (precipitation, relative humidity and daily air temperature).

Grapevine rotbrenner - Pseudopezicula tracheiphila

Rotbrenner or red fire of grape, caused by Pseudopezicula tracheiphila, is a significant grape disease in the cooler viticultural growing regions of Europe. The pathogen can overwinter in dead leaves on the ground, and in early spring the ascospores are discharged and they can infect the new season’s shoots. Heavy rainfall and prolonged wetting periods favour pathogen spread and infection.

Grape pests

European grapevine moth (EGVM) – Lobesia botrana

The European grapevine moth is one of the most important grapevine pest in the European vineyards. Native to Southern Italy, it is now found in: North and West Africa, the Middle East, and eastern Russia. The species was first reported in the United States, in Napa County, in October 2009. Having earlier, in 2008, been discovered in Chile, and now more recently it has been found in Japan. In May and June the first-generation larvae form webs and they feed on flower clusters, and the second-generation larvae (July-August) feed on green berries.
Young larvae penetrate the berry and hollow them out, leaving the skin and seeds. Third-generation larvae (August-September) cause the greatest damage by webbing and feeding inside berries and within bunches, which become contaminated with frass (excrement). Additionally, feeding damage to berries after veraison exposes them to Botrytis infection and other secondary fungi species.

European grape berry moth (EGBM) - Eupoecilia ambiguella

This serious grapevine pest has two generations per growing season, and it occurs regularly in vineyards. At springtime the young larvae damage the inflorescence and the fruit sets. The second-generation larvae of European grape berry moth (EGBM) form webs and on clusters. Additionally, feeding damage to berries after veraison exposes them to Botrytis infection and other secondary fungi species.
Insecticide applications should be timed during crowded egg hatching of young (L1) larvae. This occurs 9-15 days after the maximum peak flight date in the overwintered generation, and 8-12 days after the maximum peak flight date in the next generation.



The banana (genus Musa) is an edible fruit. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains, in contrast to dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, colour and firmness. Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic (seedless) bananas come from two wild species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

Did you know?

The scientific name of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Musa × paradisiaca for the hybrid Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. They are grown in 135 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fibre, banana wine, banana beer and as ornamental plants. The variety ‘Cavendish’ are the best-known banana cultivars that sold worldwide.

banana diseases

Bacterial diseases

Banana bacterial wilt or Moko disease
Pathogen: Pseudomonas solanacearum

The young plants are affected severely. Within a week most of the leaves exhibit wilting symptoms.

Virus diseases

Pathogen: Banana bunchy top virus – BBTV

The disease is transmitted to the plant by the aphid vector Pentalonia nigronervosa.

Fungal diseases

Panama wilt disease
Pathogen: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense

This is a soil-borne pathogen and gets entry in the plant body trough roots. It is most serious in poorly drained soil.

Black leaf streak (Black Sigatoka) 
Pathogen: Mycosphaerella fijiensis

Black sigatoka or black leaf streak, causes significant reductions of leaf area, yield losses of 50 % or more, premature ripening, and a serious defect in exported fruits.

banana pests

Banana spider mite

Tetranychus lambi Banana spider mites is the most important and widespread of the mite pests of bananas. Activity is mainly confined to the dry spring to summer periods.

Cluster caterpillar - Spodoptera litura

The young larvae feed and damage in close groups and destroy one side of the leaf leaving the opposite side intact. On rare occasions large solitary larvae feed on fruit causing superficial scarring.

Banana weevil borer - Cosmopolites sordidus

It can become an important pest in poorly managed plantations. The larvae tunnel within the corm that lies below the soil surface. This tunnelling weakens the plant and renders it susceptible to ‘blowdown’ in windy weather. Typical symptoms of a severe infestation are reduced plant growth, choking of the bunch in the pseudostem, yellow leaves and weak or dying suckers. The economic impact of weevil borer varies with rate of growth of the plant.The development of insecticide resistance has increased the potential threat of weevil borer.

Burrowing nematodes - Radopholus similes

This nematode is the most economically important nematode parasite of banana in the world. It is native to Australasia, bit is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America and many island regions.

Banana flower thrips - Thrips hawaiiensis

Fruit damage is caused by feeding and oviposition. Feeding damage results in slightly raised areas on the fruit that are grey-brown to grey-silver. In severe infestations, damage can spread to other areas of fruit.

Two spotted spider mite - Tetranychus urticae

When mites feed, they suck the contents out of individual plant cells. The feeding can cause extensive leaf, flower and fruit damage. The appearance of mites is often an indication of excessive insecticide use. Insecticide kills the biological control agents, such as predatory lady beetles and mites.

Banana scab moth - Nacoleia octasema

It’s damage is major an frequent. Larval feeding causes superficial scarring on young fruit. Damage areas from a black callous, rendering the fruit unmarketable. This pest is very damaging and to protect all emerging bunches, treatment must start when activity is first noticed.

Banana aphid - Pentalonia nigronervosa

This aphid species is the main vector of Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), but this virus is not present in every banana growing region, f.e. in Australia. The other damage of Banana aphid is the
excessive honeydew and the resultant soot mould development occurs when populations build up to high levels.



The plant, Theobroma cacao, native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America and it is one of the most important tropical crops, that is responsible for a multibillion-dollar confectionary trade. Nowadays Cacao is cultivated on roughly 17,000,000 acres worldwide. Various plant pests and diseases can cause serious problems for cacao production. Diseases are significant constraint in commercial production and reduce yields by a conservative total of 20 %, or a projected 1.3 million of tons of beans in 2012 (Bailey and Meinhardt, 2016).

Cacao diseases

Frosty pod rot disease - Moniliophtora roreri

Frosty pod rot disease, one of the most serious problems for cacao production in Latin-America. In Colombia, the average annual losses are of 40% of dry cacao equivalent to US$33 million due to the disease. In Ecuador, during the 1918 outbreak, cacao exportation was reduced from 46,000 to 37,700 tons due to frosty pod rot. In Peru, around 16,500 ha of cacao were abandoned mostly as a result of frosty pod rot. In Mexico, in the state of Tabasco, the first report of the disease was in April 2005, and by 2007, frosty pod rot had invaded all cacao areas of the state, becoming the major limiting factor to cacao production there, as well as in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Black pod rot - caused by several Phytophthora sp.

Black pod disease of cacao is an economically serious problem in all areas of the world where cacao is grown (Fig. 5) (4,8,10,12,13). Annual losses due to black pod may range from 30-90% of the crop. This disease is especially severe in West and Central Africa which contributes 60-70% of the world production of cocoa bean (Bowers et al., 2001).


Witches’ broom debilitates cacao trees by diverting energy to the numerous brooms that do not form flowers, thus reducing yield potential. Further yield loss is incurred by the prevention of seed formation in pods infected early in their development. If seeds are formed prior to infection they may be unusable depending on the extent of pod colonization by M. perniciosa (Bowers et al., 2001).

Vascular-streak dieback (VSD) - Oncobasidium theobroma

This disease is caused by the fungus known as Oncobasidium theobroma. It was first distinguished in the 1960s in Papua New Guinea when it caused heavy losses of trees in mature plantations. The disease has spread ever since and is found in South East Asia, causing major losses in large commercial plantations in Malaysia.

Cacao pests

Mirids - Distantiella theobroma, Sahlbergella singularis, Helopeltis spp.

Mirids are the major insects that affect cocoa worldwide. In Ghana, cocoa mirids have been recognised as a serious pest since 1908 due to their devastating effect. The most common species in Ghana and West African countries are Distantiella theobroma and Sahlbergella singularis. In South-East Asia the Heliopeltis spp. is responsible for the damage related to mirids while Monalonion species are present in South and Central America. Mirid damage alone, if left unattended for three years, can reduce yields by as much as 75%.

Cocoa pod borer (CPB) - Conopomorpha cramerella

CPB now affects almost all cocoa producing provinces in Indonesia. By 2000, CPB had infested 60,000 ha, inflicting losses of US$ 40 million per year. The spread of CPB along with the decline in the price of cocoa led to decreases in production in Malaysia.



The genus Coffea is endemic to Africa and a number of species are described in West, Central and East Africa (Hindorf & Omondi, 2010). Flowering plants whose seeds, called coffee beans, are used to make various beverages and product. Several species of Coffea may be grown for seeds. Coffea arabica accounts for 75-80 percent of the world’s coffee production.

Coffee diseases

Bacterial blight of coffee (BBC) – Pseudomanas syringae pv. garcae

Bacterial blight of coffee is a disease that occurs where wet and cold conditions prevail (Carvalho, 1988). Losses due to BBC can be as high as 100 % of the total crop. After heavy outbreaks, infected trees can be destroyed.

Coffee berry disease (CBD) - Colletotrichum kahawae

CBD was first detected in 1922 in Kenya. Soon after detecting the disease, losses of up to 75 % were reported. The pathogen can infect all organs of the host: flower buds, leaves, fruits and the maturing bark (Hindorf & Omondi, 2010).

Coffee wilt disease (CWD) - Gibberella xylariodes (F. xylariodes)

The fungal pathogen of Coffee wilt disease results in a total death of the infected coffee trees. The disease has been a serious problem to the Robusta coffee.

Coffee pests

Root knot nematodes – Meloidogyne spp

They attack root system of plants, feeding on the sap. They can form knots in the roots that inhibit the plant from properly feeding.

Root lesion nematodes – Pratylenchus spp.

they usually feed and reproduce on the cortex of the root.

Burrowing nematodes – Radopholus similis

This pest infection destroying root tissue, leaving plants with little to no support or ability to take up water and translocate nutrients.

Coffee borer beetle – Hypothenemus hampei

Coffee borer beetle is a small beetle that is native to Africa. It is among the most harmful pest to coffee crops across the world where coffee is cultivated.

Black twig borer – Xylosandrus compactus

It is native to Asia where it is a serious pest of Robusta coffee, but has spread to coffee growing regions throughout the world where it attacks Arabica coffee as well. The plant destroyed through tunnelling as well as pathogens introduced by the borer.



Gossypium hirsutum is the most widely planted species of cotton in the United Staes, constituting some 95% of all cotton production there. It includes a number of varieties or cross-bred cultivars with varying finer length and tolerances to a number of growing conditions.

World wide there are about 33 million hectares of cotton crops. Economically, the most important varieties are Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense. (

Cotton diseases

Bacterial Blight or Angular Leaf Spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. malvacearum)

Bacterial blight can affected the host plant throughout its life cycle and symptoms vary, to some extent, with plant age and organ affected. Although bacterial blight is found in all the major cotton-producing areas of the world, it has declined in importance in the 1990s due to the wide availability of resistant varieties. However, it remains a potentially important disease because of the variability of the pathogen and the appearance of new races.

Alternaria leaf blight (Alternaria macrospora)

Alternaria macrospora in cotton occurs in most cotton-growing areas of the world but is only severe in a few areas. Studies conducted so far have shown that disease severity (a parameter incorporating both infection frequency and lesion expansion rate and spore production increase with crop age (Shtienberg et al., 1998).

Powdery Mildew (Leveillula taurica)

The pathogen, Leveilulla taurica, is a common parasite upon numerous other cultivated and wild plants, becoming more extensive during the winter month.

Ascochyta Blight or Wet Weather Blight (Ascochyta gossypii)

Severe losses from Ascochyta blight of cotton were reported in the southern states of the USA and in Tanzania, Africa, in the 1940s and 1950s (Higgins, 1940; Wallace, 1948; Morey and Miller, 1949; Smith, 1950; Smith, 1953). Almost 100% of cotton plants in fields in northern Alabama in which cotton had followed cotton were infected by A. gossypii (Smith, 1950).The disease is prevalent in most cotton producing areas of the state. Both seedlings and older plants are susceptible, but younger cotton is more seriously injured. An entire stand may be lost as a result of the fungus attacking the hypocotyl and killing the plant. Serious outbreaks of the disease may follow extended rainy periods with serious defoliation occurring. The damage is generally spotty and many plants recover when dry, warmer weather returns.

Cotton Rust (Puccinia schedonnardi)

This rust pathogen was distributed in Mexico and southwestern United States. The rust probably occurs in other cotton-growing areas also. The disease is confined mostly to leaves.

Cotton pests

Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis)

The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central Mexico, it mitigated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas, devastating the industry and people working in the American South.

Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii)

A. gossypii is small, adaptable, easily spread, with a rapid reproductive rate, and the ability to cause serious plant injury in isolated communities. The biggest ecosystem level threat might be its ability to transmit plant viruses. While these traits might qualify this insect as an invasive threat, it has already colonised most parts of the world. This aphid is not in the Invasive Global Species Database as an invasive pest (ISSG, 2006). However, it is registered in the Invasive species database of the United States Department of Agriculture (Anon., 2005).

Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera)

The cotton bollworm is a major pest of cotton and one of the most polyphagous and cosmopolitan pest species. The economic threshold of harmfulness in central Asia is three to five larvae per hundred plants of long-staple cotton and eight to 12 larvae per hundred plants on medium-staple cotton. In cotton crops, blooms that have been attacked may open prematurely and stay fruitless. When the bolls are damaged, some will fall off and others will fail to produce lint or produce lint of an inferior quality. Secondary infections by fungi and bacteria are common and may lead to rotting of fruits. Injury to the growing tips of plants may disturb their development, maturity may be delayed and the fruits may be dropped.

Two spotted spider mites – Tetranychus urticae

Two spotted spider mite is becoming more relevant cotton pests worldwide. Higher initial infestation levels were correlated with earlier, potentially more damaging, mite outbreaks. The within plant distribution of T. urticate was unaffected by cotton variety or insecticide applications. T. urticae was more abundant on the edges of fields than in the interior early in the season (October and November) indicating colonization from an external source.

Thrips (Thrips tabaci)

Thrips tabaci is the most important pest of cotton proving most destructive in the era of Bt cotton in sub-continent south east Asia (Fiaz et al., 2012). They affect the foliage by sucking the cell sap and reducing the photosynthetic area of the plant. Jassid (A. bigutulla) is considered to be a very serious pest of cotton in sub-continent. Both nymphs and adults cause damage to the crop by injecting its toxic saliva into tissues. Further investigation has found that extreme damage during mid season reduce yield and if the same amount of damage occurs late in season yield is heavily reduced (Borah, 1995; Patel and Patel, 1998; Rafique and Shah, 1998; Sudhakar et al., 1998).

Root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita)

The symptoms caused by root knot vary from slight plant stunting to death in areas of severe infestation. Skippy stands, particularly in distinct areas of a field, are characteristic.



The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning “European olive”, is cultivated in many places and considered naturalised in all the countries of the Mediterranean coast, as well as in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Java, Norfolk Island, California and Bermuda. The olive’s fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The olive tree is cultivated for olive oil, fine wood, olive leaf and the olive fruit.

In general, Olea europea trees are hardy, although they can suffer from a few insect pests and diseases that caused relevant product and economic losses.

Olive diseases

Olive knot – Pseudomonas savastoni pv. oleae

This bacterial disease is spread on tainted pruning tools, especially during rainy months, as the bacteria spreads on water. The deformed growth strangles the plant, and this strangulation, called girdling, can cause fatal damage to trees.

Xylella fastidiosa – no common disease name on Olea genus, yet

Currently EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization) considers this extremely persistent pathogen as an A1 quarantine pest because of the high phytosanitary risk. The infected trees are showing a massive scorching of leaves followed by wilting of entire branches. The disease spreads fast. The most striking impact of this pathogen is the olive quick decline syndrome.

Phytophthora root rot – Phytophthora spp.

Seven different species have so far been identified as causing problems with Olea europaea trees, usually where excessively wet soils, clay-panning or poor drainage was a problem. These fungus cause root rots, stem and crown cankers. Leaves wilt, yellow and may drop. Trees may die suddenly or slowly decline over several years.

Charcoal root rot – Macrophomina phaseolina

It causes root rot and infected roots cause water-stress during summer.

Stem cankers and die-back – caused by a pathogen complex – Xanthomonas sp. and Fusicoccum luteum

The disease complex caused by these pathogens results in the death of shoots and stems, as well as leaves, flowers and other growth attached to them. Symptoms include bulbous cankers on stems, discoloration of foliage and rotting lesions on green growth.

Anthracnose – Colletrotichum gloeosporoides

Anthracnose of olives usually attacks ripe or overripe fruits, and only rarely the leaves, peduncles and shoots. On the fruits, the disease causes soft circular rotted spots. The fungus affects olive oil quality by increasing the free acidity and the peroxide number(Rhouma et al., 2010).

Verticillium wilt – Verticillium dahliae

It is a life-threatening disease to Olea europea trees, especially as there is no cure for the disease. Affected trees will show an overall decline in growth. Sometimes, only part of the tree will appear to wither.

Olive pests

Olive fruit fly – Bactrocera oleae

This species is associated with plants of the Olea genus. It is considered the most serious pest on olives in regions where it presides and significantly affects both the amount and quality of production in most olive growing areas. When olives are damaged by olive fruit fly, the fruit is more sensitive to oxidative and microbial breakdown, therefore the time from harvest to milling should be kept as short as possible and every effort should be made to handle the fruit properly to limit further damage.

Olive moth – Prays oleae

Olive moth or olive kerner borer is an important insect on olive in the Mediterranean basin and the United States. The larvae directly destroy the flowers or cause the abortion of the flower. The fruit generation larvae cause the premature drop of the fruits.

Olive shoot worm – Palpita persimilis

The shoot worm larvae can cause defoliation on new growth. The larvae tie leaves together with silk to make nests on shoot tips. Feeding damage can be just on the epidermis of the leave, or as larvae age they will chew holes in leaves.

Olive scale – Parlatoria oleae

Late spring the first generation of olive scale feed on and deform young, rapidly growing fruits. The second generation scale causes the pronounced purple spotting of green fruit, rendering it worthless for most markets. Heavy olive scale infestations will also occur on branches, twigs, and leaves. Such infestations substantially reduce the productivity of a tree.

Black scale – Saissetia oleae

Occasionally a sap sucking insect known as brown or black olive scale will be seen on olive trees. As the scale feeds, their excrement appears like sweet stick honeydew. These excreted sticks of liquid can finally cover the leaves of the entire tree. The soot mould fungus feeds on this honeydew and multiplies until the entire tree is covered with black soot mould. Therefore photosynthesis can’t take place efficiently.



Rice (Oryza sativa) is a main food source of mankind and sometimes the sole nourishment for poor people in developing countries. There are more than 8,000 rice subspecies currently known.

Rice growing in southeast Asia goes back 5,000 years; whereas in Europe rice was an exotic rarity until the XV. century, but today is in widespread production throughout south European countries.

At least 741.4 million metric tons of paddy rice were commercially harvested worldwide in 2014 from more than 162.7 million hectares of rice fields (source: FaoStat). Over 800 insect species attack standing and stored rice (Grist and Lever 1969). According to Pathak and Dhaliwal (1981) these pests account for rice losses of 24% or greater. The importance of rice insect pests can be grasped by the fact that $910 million is spent annually in attempts to control their activities with insecticides (Woodburn, 1990).

Rice diseases

Bacterial blight – Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae

Bacterial blight is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and affects the rice plant at the seedling stage where infected leaves turn grayish green and roll up. As the disease progresses, leaves turn yellow to straw-colored and wilt, leading whole seedlings to dry up and die. The disease occurs in both tropical and temperate environments, particularly in irrigated and rainfed lowland areas. It is commonly observed when strong winds and continuous heavy rains occur. The disease is severe in susceptible rice varieties that are treated with high nitrogen fertilizer.

Bacterial blight is one of the most destructive rice diseases in Asia and has historically been associated with major epidemics. It occurs in China, Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The disease also occurs in Northern Australia and Africa (source:

Rice blast – Pyricularia grisea

Rice blast (Pyricularia grisea) is a fungus that feeds on the rice plant, causing severe damage usually during the seedling stage. It attacks different parts of the plant: the collar, which can ultimately kill the entire leaf blade; the stem, which turns blackish and breaks easily (node blast); the neck of the panicle, where the infected part is girdled by a grayish brown lesion, or when severe, causes the panicles to fall over; or on the branches of the panicles which exhibit brown lesions when infected (source:

Bacterial blight is one of the most destructive rice diseases in Asia and has historically been associated with major epidemics. It occurs in China, Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The disease also occurs in Northern Australia and Africa (source:

Bacterial blight – Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae

Sheath blight is a fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani. Symptoms are usually observed from tillering to milk stage in a rice crop. It occurs throughout the rice growing areas in temperate, subtropical, and tropical countries. Rice sheath blight is found in all rice production areas, and is decreasing rice production especially in intensified production systems. Studies at IRRI showed that sheath blight causes a yield loss of 6% across lowland rice fields in tropical Asia (source:

Bacterial blight is one of the most destructive rice diseases in Asia and has historically been associated with major epidemics. It occurs in China, Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The disease also occurs in Northern Australia and Africa (source:

Rice yellow mottle virus – RYMV

Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) is a plant virus disease. The most important symptom on a rice plant is that leaves turn yellow, with alternate yellow and green stripes that give its typical mottled appearance to the plant. The other symptoms are: stunting, reduced tillering, leaf mottle with yellow stripes, incomplete panicle exertion, the panicle sometimes being badly formed, and spikelet sterility (Wopereis et al., 2009).

Rice pests

Black bugs
  • Common black bug – Scotinophara coarctata
  • Malayan black bug – S. lurid
  • Japanese rice black bug – S. latiuscula

Three species of black bugs attack rice: common black bug, Malayan black bug and Japanese rice black bug. These black bugs are very harmful, because they remove the sap of the plant. They can cause browning of leaves, deadheart, and bugburn. Their damage also causes stunting in plants, reduced tiller number, and formation of whiteheads. In severe cases, black bugs weaken the plant preventing them from producing seeds.

Black bug feeds on the rice plant from seedling to maturity growth stages. Ten black bug adults per hill can cause losses of up to 35% in some rice varieties.

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