Plant diseases in the news this week.

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Happy Friday to all.

A few days ago in our local newspaper was an insert magazine, the American Profile.  Smack on the cover was the chestnut tree with the tagline ” Rebirth of the Chestnut tree”. (here is the link to the article online: ) I thought this is great as folks will read a little bit about how the disease commonly known as Chestnus blight, caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, came to America and cause much damage in the early 1900s. This article concentrated on current progress on research and development of resistant cultivars. For some good reads about this disease – check out this website from Penn State (  Two recommended articles from that site is “Chestnut blight – introduction to the US” which has a more detailed history of the problem as compiled by Dr. Anagnostakis at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station  AND “Tracking the Chestnut Blight”.

Suspected SOS damageOn a different note, a press release this week highlighted a new online disease identification tool added by the USDA Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST).  This tool was design to help the “frontline” surveyors and first detectors to identify 24 disease and common disorders of citrus. It is also helpful to anyone who might be interested.  There are lots of photos and an interactive key to help with problem identification process.  Check out the Citrus disease identification tool at

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