Canaries in the Coal Mine

Lab Report

By: Ann Northrup

Ann Northrup spent her undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology….

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An ambitious initiative to detect emerging plant pests and diseases was launched recently at the 5th Global Botanic Gardens Congress, held in New Zealand. Through the use of “sentinel” plants within a community of botanical gardens and arboreta worldwide, where approximately one-third of the world’s known plants are cultivated, it is hoped that inadvertent introductions of exotic pests and pathogens will be detected in time to do something about them before economic or environmental damage results.  Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) will coordinate the effort, which is funded by a plant health project of the European Union. – October 2013