Avocado Branch Canker Disease Virtual Field Day
The California Avocado Commission (CAC) will host a virtual field day concerning Avocado Branch Canker disease on Thursday, September 17, at 3:30 p.m. The virtual seminar will consist of two presentations by Dr. Themis Michailides, University of California Kearney Agricultural Center and Dr. Liz Dann, University of Queensland, followed by a question-and-answer session. Registration for the virtual event is now open.
Avocado Branch Canker is a ubiquitous disease of avocados in California caused by a group of fungi in the family Botryosphaeriaceae. These fungi, which normally are not problematic, have arisen as a major group of pathogens of many crops around the world in recent years. In California they have become major disease organisms in pistachios, almonds, and walnuts as well as avocados. Elsewhere in the world, this group of pathogens causes leaf and flower blight on avocados and are major contributors to yield loss. Why this group of pathogens has suddenly become problematic is uncertain.
Dr. Themis Michailides, Professor of Plant Pathology, is one of the world’s leading experts on this group of fungi. He has been working on a CAC-funded project since October 2018 to determine exactly what pathogens cause avocado brank canker in California, the extent of their presence in California avocado groves and how they can be managed. He will present his research results to date and discuss why he believes this group of pathogens has become problematic in recent years.
Dr. Liz Dann is a Principal Research Fellow with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland, Australia. She has worked extensively on avocado diseases in Australia and has recently started studying the role of the Botryoshpaeriaceae in flower blight of avocados in Australia. She will share her knowledge of these pathogens with growers and the impacts they have on avocado production in Australia.