The latest advances in research on diseases of the world’s most popular fruit vegetable were shared at the VI International Symposium on Tomato Diseases, a major conference that attracted more than 200 experts, scholars, researchers and students from 25 countries to Taichung, Taiwan to discuss ways to address the challenges diseases present to production of this globally important vegetable crop.
Organized by the World Vegetable Center, the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), the event was held at the NCHU Conference Center from 6-9 May 2019.
The symposium was opened by NCHU President Shieu Fu-shen; WorldVeg Director General Dr. Marco Wopereis; International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) Representative & Chair, Tomato Diseases Working Group Dr. Enrique Moriones; Director of Science and Technology, Council of Agriculture (COA), Taiwan Dr. Dennis Wang; and Acting Director, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Dr. Jyh-Rong Tsay.
The symposium theme, “Managing Tomato Diseases in the Face of Globalization and Climate Change” explored the effect of climate on one of horticulture’s most advanced, globalized, and innovative sectors.
Annual production of tomato has increased by 300% over the past 40 years. Yet higher temperatures, heat waves and longer droughts, change in precipitation patterns, more frequent wildfires, and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms are fostering the development and spread of tomato diseases and altering pest behavior and distribution.
And, although international commerce brings prosperity, it also transports horticultural pests and diseases around the globe, including begomoviruses and emerging Crinivirus, bacterial wilt and bacterial spot, late blight and early blight, and Fusarium wilt.