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					Phytopathology Section

Activity 1: Accomplishment of some field and laboratory activities
1.1. Grapevine: During autumn and winter of 2007 several grapevine samples showing symptoms
associated to viral/phytoplasma diseases were collected from Bekaa Valley and north of Lebanon
and analyzed at Tal Amara station. Farmer group field visits (establishing of a program for the
collection of grapevine samples for analysis of viral and phytoplasmas diseases) were
achieved.
Moreover other samples showing decline were collected during spring 2008 to be tested for fungal
diseases. Recently, a new problem has been arisen on fruits showing rotting symptoms and some
samples were collected.
During September 2008, a field survey for vineyards in Bekaa valley was done in the presence of
ADP expert Dr. Stefania Pollastro and LARI Phytopathological staff, and different samples were
collected for analysis at Tal Amara station, while other samples were sent to Italy.

Outputs: (a) Viruses: (GVA, GVB, GLRaV-1, GLRaV-2, GLRaV-3, GFkV and GFLV) are
isolated from the symptomatic samples. (b) Phytoplasmas: an epidemiology study was carried out
on bois noir disease in September-October concerning the diffusion of the disease (development of
the disease “% of infected plants” and capture of the insects to catch the vector (s)). (c) Some fungal
pathogens such as Botryosphaeria spp., Eutypa lata, Fomitiporia mediterranea, etc. were identified.
Regarding the rotting symptoms on fruits the analyses showed the presence of downy mildew, and
sour rot. Other fungal pathogens are still ongoing.


1.2. Potato: During Year 2007, Farmer group field visits were achieved (evaluation of sanitary
status of potato production according to symptoms and collection of samples): selection of 95
potato fields from Bekaa valley and tested on bacterial and virus diseases.
A survey was done during May-June 2008 on potato production in Akkar and during June-August
for Bekaa Valley where 60 samples were collected. Each sample is composed from 200 tubers
according to EU Standards and the application of IFAS test has started to be applied for the
detection of bacterial quarantine diseases the brown rot " Ralstonia solanacearum" and ring rot "
Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Sepedonicus". The IFAS test is done for the first time in Lebanon,
and this survey will improve the quality control of potato production and will assure new markets
for the exportation of local potato production, especially for Europe and Arab markets. Other field
visits were done in Central Bekaa, West Bekaa and North Bekaa, due to the request of potato
farmers who are complaining about disease epidemics that show strange symptoms in potato fields.
During June 2008, a field survey for potato fields was done in Bekaa valley in the presence of ADP
expert Dr. Lo Turkensteen and LARI Phytopathological staff, where different samples were
collected for analysis.

Outputs: All data were registered on GPS and field inspection is done according to EU Standards.
The main diseases found were: Potato virus S, potato virus Y, Fusarium spp., Erwinia spp.,
Rhizoctonia canker, Pink rot and Verticillium wilt.

1.3. Stone and pome fruits: During year 2007, Farmer group field visits (evaluation of the
sanitary status of fruit trees production) resulted in an identification of major fungal and
viral diseases
(a) During May-June 2008, samples of peach, cherry, apricot, plum and mainly almond were
collected from farmer group commercial fields and tested for the presence of the following viruses:
PDV, PNRSV, PPV, ToRSV, SLRSV, ApMV, CLRV and ACLSV. (b) Other survey has started in
the North of Lebanon (Batroun, Diniei, Akkar, Jbeil) and Bekaa Valley (West Bekaa, Central Bekaa
and North Bekaa) and in the South (Tanbourit and Khiam Region) to assess the presence of the
phytoplasma disease on almond.
During October 2008, a field survey for pome and stone fruits was done in Mount Lebanon in the
presence of ADP expert Eng. Pierre Speich and LARI Phytopathological staff, while different
samples were collected for analysis at Tal Amara station.

Outputs: PDV, ApMV, PNRSV and ACLSV are found and a map is under preparation about the
diffusion of the phytopalsma disease on almond (Candidatus phytoplasma phoenicium). Powdery
mildew, peach leaf curl, phytophtora root, shot hole, verticillium wilt and monilia blight are the
most common diseases found on stone fruit species. Apple scab and powdery mildew were the most
fungal diseases found on apple trees, while phytophtora disease and nectria canker were less
diffused.

1.4. Vegetables: Field visits were done for farmers in order to examine some problems mainly on
cucumber, tomato and lettuce.
Outputs: some fungal diseases were observed such as powdery mildew, downy mildew,
Verticillium wilt and Rhizoctonia canker.

1.5. Olives and Citrus: The survey done in the north and in the south of Lebanon on citrus and
olives showed the presence of the common diseases: Phytophtora, Psorosis, Verticillium and
Peacock eye. A new and large survey should be done in the future according to the advice of
the Italian expert.


Activity.2. National phytopathology staff activities in LARI stations
All activities requested by the national phytopathology staff were prepared by Dr. Choueiri and
different meetings were done for technical follow-up of the project implementation.

Outputs:

- Follow-up of tenders related to equipments, tools, chemicals and laboratory rehabilitation
concerning phytopathology section at Tal Amara station;

- Preparation of working plan for national phytopathology staff in all LARI stations (field activities
and laboratory analysis according to the crops and plant diseases for all LARI stations);

- Meetings with national phytopatrhology staff, with MOA Eng and with EU staff for technical
follow-up of the project implementation;

- Transfer of technologies from European laboratory to our local laboratories according to EU
standards (testing of potato quarantine bacterial diseases according to EU standards); Laboratory
analysis for potato seeds for farmers included in the project;

- Preparation of ADP reports ADP quarterly report “January-March 2008”; “Mid Term Report
January-June 2008”;

- Participation in the preparation of the Tech-pack from the part of the national phytopathology staff
and help in phytopathology section of newsletter issues from the part of the phytopathological
director section;
- Preparation and arrangements for students training in LARI centers;
- Participation of ADP/LARI phytopathological staff to conferences and workshops presented
within the ADP project: (i) "Global G.A.P (Europ Gap): control points and compliance criteria
Integrated Farm Assurance, Fruits and Vegetables" February 2008 CCIA, Beirut; (ii) " Cooperatives
Management and good governance" part 1 from 6/3/2008 till 8/3/2008 CCIA, Zahle; (iii) "
Cooperatives Management and good governance" part 2 from 1/4/2008 till 19/4/2008 CCIA, Zahle.
- Participation in ADP posters
- Preparation of Plant Diseases Models Tender
- Receiving of the major equipments and tools
- Progress in the rehabilitation activities
- Participation in the Conference “Pest & Disease Forecast & Management” carried out in
September under the Patronage of H.E. Eng Elias Skaff, Minister of Agriculture & H.E.
Ambassador Patrick Laurent Head of the Delegation of the European Commission;


- Preparation and arrangements for international experts’ missions to Lebanon (Terms of references,
Website announcements, CV collection, experts’ selection, accommodation and mission program,
preparation of the conferences). Four phytopathology experts’ missions on fruit trees, grapevine
olive and citrus and potato are already achieved.


Activity 3: Preparation and presentation of seminars by phytopathological LARI staff on
diseases infecting grapevine, olive, pome fruits, stone fruits, potato, citrus, tomato, lettuce.
Cucumber, pepper (workshops held at Fanar station on August 28, September 4 and 11,
2007)


Activity 4: Working on the tender of rehabilitation of Plant Protection Department at Tal
Amara Station


Activity5: Permanent contact with personnel working for the ADP newsletter concerning
technical information for plant disease


Activity 6: announcement of the first diseases forecast bulletin:
The bulletin concerning grapevine leaf roll disease and grapevine bois noire disease and wilt
verticillium on fruit trees is published on First October 2008 at LARI/ADP website and in various
media (TV and newspapers)

				
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