Under the patronage of Dr. Abdullah Al-Sadi, Dean, the Department of Crop Sciences at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at SQU organized a one-day workshop titled “The Role of Whitefly in Tomato Disease Transmission and its Management in Oman” on 25 December 2018.
The workshop was attended by invited participants from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Royal Courts Affair (RCA) and SQU. The organizer of the workshop, Dr. Muhammad Shahid, Assistant Professor in the Department of Crop Sciences, gave a brief background of the workshop and said that the event would enhance the knowledge to understand the whitefly (B. tabaci), its biotypes and their role in the vectoring of tomato yellow leaf curl viral disease in Oman. The workshop covered the basic to advanced aspects related to whitefly and its management using traditional as well biotechnological tools to produce resistance against this devastating pest.
In his welcome address, Dr. Mumtaz Khan Associate Professor and Acting Head of Crop Science Department highlighted the importance of the workshop. The keynote speaker of the workshop, Dr. Rob W. Briddon, British professor and plant molecular virologist, gave a talk on the Whitefly-Plant-Virus interaction, which thoroughly covered all aspects of the host, pathogen and the insect vector. He highlighted the role of Asia II 1 biotype that is efficiently transmitting cotton leaf curl disease in major cotton growing countries. Dr. Ali Al-Wahaibi Assistant Professor and entomologist delivered a talk on different control measures used locally and internationally against this important insect vector.
Dr. Riaz Shah, expert in pesticide resistance research, gave a comprehensive presentation on the pesticide resistance in whitefly in Oman. He discussed the preliminary results of his findings, which showed certain level of pesticide resistance against particular pesticide groups in whitefly that can cause alarming situation for the farmer. Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, postdoctoral fellow in plant biotechnology laboratory, CAMS, spoke about potential strategy that can be adopted to produce resistance in different vegetable plants against whitefly using modern biotechnology tools. He convinced the audience by explaining his previous findings as an example to cope up with this widely upsetting vector. Salma Al-Mabsli, M.Sc. student presented her initial master’s thesis research that is related to whitefly and the virus transmission.