The persistent threat of emerging plant disease pandemics to global food security

Plant disease outbreaks are increasing and threaten food security for the vulnerable in many areas of the world. Now a global human pandemic is threatening the health of millions on our planet. A stable, nutritious food supply will be needed to lift people out of poverty and improve health outcomes. Plant diseases, both endemic and recently emerging, are spreading and exacerbated by climate change, transmission with global food trade networks, pathogen spillover, and evolution of new pathogen lineages. In order to tackle these grand challenges, a new set of tools that include disease surveillance and improved detection technologies including pathogen sensors and predictive modeling and data analytics are needed to prevent future outbreaks. Herein, we describe an integrated research agenda that could help mitigate future plant disease pandemics.

Citation: Ristaino, J. B., Anderson, P. K., Bebber, D. P., Brauman, K. A., Cunniffe, N. J., Fedoroff, N. V., Finegold, C., Garrett, K. A., Gilligan, C. A., Jones, C. M., Martin, M. D., MacDonald, G. K., Neenan, P., Records, A., Schmale, D. G., Tateosian, L., & Wei, Q. (2021). The persistent threat of emerging plant disease pandemics to global food security. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ISSN: 2250-1762. 118(23). 9 p.