Agriculture represents one of the major strengths of the economic sector in Brazil. The need to avoid economic losses because of insect pest populations is one of the greatest challenges faced by this sector. Insect pests have caused annual losses of US$12.0 billion to the Brazilian economy, of which approximately US$1.6 billion are because of exotic pest species. Furthermore, exotic insect species often show greater potential to cause harm than native species. In Brazil, since the late nineteenth century, 24 species of insect pests have been introduced into the country, and they have caused significant economic losses. Many of these species, including Bemisia tabaci, Hypothenemus hampei, Ceratitis capitata, Oryzophagus oryzae and Anthonomus grandis, are major crop pests, and they were accidentally introduced during trading of agricultural products. In this review, we present an overview of Brazilian agriculture, a brief history of the introduction of insect pests in the country and the Brazilian legislation on agricultural defence, and we estimate the economic losses caused to the Brazilian economy by the main insect pest species that have been introduced into Brazil over the last 112 years.
Com o objetivo de verificar a possibilidade de substituição de animais em aulas práticas, comparou-se o grau de aprendizagem entre duas turmas do curso de Medicina submetidas a aulas distintas, com e sem o uso de animais. Foram verificados, também, os sentimentos despertados pela presença destes animais. Os alunos ingressantes do curso de Medicina foram divididos em dois grupos, estabelecendo-se dois protocolos de aulas práticas, um deles com animais de laboratório e outro sem. O assunto, comum às duas aulas, refere-se ao estudo de técnicas citológicas. Ao final, foi entregue um questionário para avaliar as técnicas de aprendizagem, bem como os sentimentos vivenciados pela presença dos animais. Verificou-se que a curiosidade foi o sentimento mais freqüente em ambos os sexos, havendo um predomínio de sentimentos negativos entre as mulheres, diferentemente dos homens, nos quais predominaram sentimentos positivos e indiferença. As duas turmas apresentaram desempenho semelhante com relação às questões específicas. É preciso reavaliar as metodologias de várias aulas do curso médico, já que há evidências de que, na maioria das situações, o conhecimento pode ser obtido por meio de outras fontes, respeitando a vida animal e induzindo valores éticos aos alunos.
The sweet cassava cultivars BRS 396, BRS 397, BRS 398 and BRS 399, were selected through 27 participatory tests conducted at Distrito Federal, Brazil. Their agronomic performance and their high level of acceptance among producers qualify them as a new crop option for cultivation in the region.
Despite the importance of Dalbulus maidis (DeLong & Wolcott) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) as a vector of maize‐stunting pathogens, it is not understood how this leafhopper survives the maize off‐season in regions where overwintering hosts do not occur. We investigated migration and the use of alternate hosts as possible survival mechanisms for D. maidis during maize off‐season in Brazil. Dalbulus maidis populations were monitored with yellow sticky cards for 16–29 months in Anastácio (Mato Grosso do Sul State), in two farms with perennial pastures (Pasture1 and Pasture2), where maize had not been planted for >5 years, in a subsistence farm >20 km distant, where maize was annually planted (spring) (Maize1), and in Piracicaba (São Paulo State), where maize was grown year round (Maize2). RAPD‐PCR analysis of leafhoppers sampled on maize in two plots (Maize1 and Pasture1) at 15–20 and 110–120 days after germination was performed. Dalbulus maidis was trapped in the maize plots of all areas, but not in weedy or woody vegetation adjacent to the plots. Higher numbers were trapped throughout the year in Piracicaba, where maize was continuously grown under irrigation, and in the subsistence farm of Anastácio, where volunteer maize plants were available for long periods in the maize off‐season. In Anastácio farms, some population peaks were recorded in the absence of maize from midwinter to early spring, especially after soil plowing. RAPD‐PCR analysis showed that D. maidis populations sampled were genetically similar. Our data suggest that D. maidis uses a mixed strategy to survive the over‐season period in Brazil, in which part of the population overwinters locally on volunteer maize plants or nearby irrigated maize crops, whereas the other individuals migrate to colonize new maize crops in distant areas or regions. We hypothesize that immigrant D. maidis uses the contrast between plowed and vegetated soil as a visual cue for locating new maize crops.
Populations of Dalbulus maidis (DeLong and Wolcott) from the northeastern and central-southern regions of Brazil differ morphologically, suggesting that they could be genetically isolated. Here we used the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to estimate genetic structuring of this leafhopper species among five geographically distant localities across those regions and to estimate gene flow between populations. Ten specimens were sampled per population and genotyped with RAPD markers generated from amplification with nine oligonucleotides. The percentage of polymorphic loci was 78% in relation to the total number of amplified loci, and genetic similarity either between or within populations was higher than 0.72. Cluster analysis grouped specimens from the northeastern population (Mossoró/RN) into a single group, whereas central-southern specimens were not grouped in relation to their places of origin. Overall, the genetic subdivision index (Fst) was low (or= 0.192 and Nm
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