Saturday, August 5, 2023

NASA Monitors Earth For Wine-Grape Diseases

From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, August 4:

In a case study, scientists detected the costly infection in cabernet sauvignon grapevines before they showed symptoms visible to the human eye.

Withering molds, root-rotting bacteria, viruses, and other plant pathogens destroy an estimated 15 to 30% of global harvests every year. Early detection can make the difference between a failed crop and a treatable one. Using an airborne science instrument developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, researchers have found that they can accurately spot the stealthy signs of a grape disease that inflicts billions of dollars in annual crop damage. The remote sensing technique could aid ground-based monitoring for this and other crops.

In a pair of new studies, researchers from JPL and Cornell University focused on a viral disease called GLRaV-3 (short for grapevine leafroll-associated virus complex 3). Primarily spread by insects, GLRaV-3 reduces yields and sours developing fruit, costing the U.S. wine and grape industry some $3 billion in damage and losses annually. It typically is detected by labor-intensive vine-by-vine scouting and expensive molecular testing.....


Previously on the eye-in-the-sky channel: