New Grower-Friendly Methods for Plant Pathogen Monitoring
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Accurate plant disease diagnoses and rapid detection and identification of plant pathogens are of utmost importance for controlling plant diseases and mitigating the economic losses they incur. Technological advances have increasingly simplified the tools available for the identification of pathogens to the extent that, in some cases, this can be done directly by growers and producers themselves. Commercially available immunoprinting kits and lateral flow devices (LFDs) for detection of selected plant pathogens are among the first tools of what can be considered grower-friendly pathogen monitoring methods. Research efforts, spurned on by point-of-care needs in the medical field, are paving the way for the further development of on-the-spot diagnostics and multiplex technologies in plant pathology. Grower-friendly methods need to be practical, robust, readily available, and cost-effective. Such methods are not restricted to on-the-spot testing but extend to laboratory services, which are sometimes more practicable for growers, extension agents, regulators, and other users of diagnostic tests.