Plant pests and diseases in Cyprus
Management of plant diseases and pests are undoubtedly considered as one of the most important farming practice should be taken daily by farmers. Harmful organisms may cause severe damage to the crop, resulting in significant quantitative and qualitative yield losses. It is not uncommon to observe a total destruction of the crop due to a pest or pathogen attack, causing an economical disaster to the farmers. It is estimated that 30 to 40 % of the global yield loss is attributed to damages caused by pests and diseases. Harmful organisms to the plants include rats, weeds, insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and other prokaryotic organisms, viruses and viroids.
Some of the most common pests found in Cyprus include the vegetable armyworms (Spodoptera littoralis και S. exigua) and cereal armyworm (Syringopais temperatella), the grape berry moth (Lobesia botrana), the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae), the olive moth (Prays oleae), Rhynchites cribripennis, the leopard moth (Zeuzera pyrina) the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the California red scale (Aonidiella aurantii), the codling moth (Cydia pomonella), the potato leaf miner (Lyriomyza trifolii), the potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella), the woolly whitefly (Aleurothrixus floccosus), the greenhouse and tobacco whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Bemisia tabaci), the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), the western thrip (Frankliniella occidentalis), the almond seed wasp (Eurytoma amydali), etc. Important plant-parasitic nematodes found in the island include the potato cyst nematodes (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida), the root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita, M. javanica και M. hapla), the slow decline citrus nematode (Tylenchulus semipenetrans), etc. Some of the most common soil-borne diseases include the vascular wilts caused by Fusarium oxysporum, Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum spp., and root (or tuber) rots caused by Rhizoctonia spp., Phytophthora spp., Pythium spp., Pyrenochaeta spp., Erwinia carotovora, etc. Important foliar diseases include powdery mildews (e.g., Uncinula necator), downy mildews (e.g., Plasmopara viticola), rusts (e.g., Puccinia spp.), foliar spot diseases such as Alternaria (Alternaria spp), Septoria (Septoria spp.) and Anthracnose diseases (e.g., Colletotrichum spp.), moulds such as Botrytis cinerea, scabs such as the apple scab (Venturia inaequalis - anamorph Spilocaea pomi), blights such as Fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) and Coryneum blight (Coryneum carpophilum), blisters (e.g., Taphrina spp.), rots such as brown rot (Monilinia fructicola) and cankers such as crown gall (Agrobacterium spp.). Regular and important virus diseases found in Cyprus include the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus, the Citrus Tristeza Virus, potato viruses such as the potato leaf roll and potato virus Y, grapevine viruses such as the Grapevine Fanleaf Virus and Grapevine Leafroll Virus strain 1, and stone fruit viruses such as the Plum Pox Virus, Prunus Dwarf Virus and Prunus Necrotic Ringspot Virus.