- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
Florent Trouillas, UC Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE), specializing in fruit and nut crop pathology, became a welcomed addition to the KARE faculty on October 1, 2014. Trouillas' research program aims to understand current as well as emerging diseases of major fruit and nut crops, and deliver efficient and innovative control strategies. His research includes basic and applied studies on the etiology, biology, epidemiology and control of fruit and nut crop diseases.
Immediately prior to coming to KARE, Trouillas worked as a project scientist coordinating research projects in Viticulture for agricultural cooperatives in France.
Trouillas was a graduate student and a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Extension Plant Pathologist Walter D (Doug) Gubler in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis. Trouillas' research emphasized the characterization and control of canker diseases of grapes, fruit and nut crops.
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
Themis Michailides, plant pathologist and lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, recently visited Australia, primarily to visit pistachio and almond orchards and discuss disease control and food safety strategies for these crops.
In 2011, Australia had excessive rains at harvest time, which resulted in pistachio crop losses of 40 to 50 percent due to anthracnose fungi. The lost crop was worth about $15 million. To help prevent the problem in the future, the growers went to California to get input on current disease management strategies. Themis Michailides’ research and extension program was very helpful. As a result, the pistachio and almond crop growers of Australia created protocols to prevent and control the disease. The Australian Pistachio Industry invited Dr. Michailides to tour the Riverland and Sunraysia regions this year to inspect orchards that were previously affected by the anthracnose as well as meet with Australian researchers.
Dr. Michailides was surprised to find lower limb dieback in Australia. This is a problem that his program studied in California for many years with funds from the Californian Almond Board.
The trip was mutually beneficial. The Australian industry and researchers received expert advice and Dr. Michailides learned about practices in Australia that can benefit his research and extension program in California.
Highlights of the trip are summarized below.
- Brisbane: met with Australian plant pathologists from the local area and discussed many plant diseases of interest to the local region.
- Adelaide: stayed and enjoyed visiting with his UC Davis classmate Prue McMichael’s family; visited local laboratories and research organizations to discuss pistachio, pomegranate and almond disease control and food safety strategies.
- Mallee and Riverland regions: met with growers and researchers to discuss disease control and food safety strategies for pistachios and almonds. Displayed samples of Anthracnose and Botryosphaeria infected nuts and leaves that were collected during Dr. Michailides’ Australian orchard visits.
- Mildura: met with the Australian Pistachio Research and Development Committee and discussed some of the pistachio disease control efficacy research being done in Australia. Recommended that the committee access “Fungicides, Bactericides, and Biologicals for deciduous Tree Fruit, Nut, Strawberry, and Vine Corps 2012” to review current pest management strategies for tree fruit, tree nut, strawberry and vine crops. Shared how to closely inspect trees, bark, wood, leaves and nuts to identify and diagnose symptoms of various diseases, as well as predict disease risks based on inoculum levels and weather conditions.