New review paper explores global dimensions of plant virus epidemics

Head shot of Rayapati
Dr. Naidu Rayapati

Worldwide, plant virus epidemics threaten livelihoods, food, farms, and the environment.

Naidu Rayapati, WSU plant pathologist and director of the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser, co-authored a new review of the impact of viruses on global agriculture, sharing perspectives on virus diseases and possible solutions through emerging technologies, in the September issue of the Annual Review of Virology.

With co-author Roger A.C. Jones, scientist at the University of Western Australia, Rayapati wrote “Global Dimensions of Plant Virus Diseases: Current Status and Future Perspectives.”

A changing climate, growing population, and globalized agriculture are driving fast changes that favor destructive disease outbreaks, the authors relate. Synthesizing their many years of experience in international agriculture, this review takes stock of the current global situation of viral diseases, how viruses spread, the factors influencing outbreaks, disease management, and new and emerging technologies to help understand virus epidemics.

Jones and Rayapati also discuss strategies for defense and future needs, including the need for collaborative global networks to address food security challenges caused by viral epidemics. A paradigm shift toward smart, integrated, and eco-friendly strategies is needed to stop epidemics in their tracks, according to the authors.

“We are playing an active role in addressing viral disease problems of global significance, and bringing knowledge and practical experiences to safeguard American agriculture from viral disease threats,” Rayapati said.

View the paper here.