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AFP
June 27, 2018
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Early detection of ‘olive tree leprosy’ with drones

World

AFP
June 27, 2018

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PARIS: A bacterial infection ravaging olive orchards in southern Europe can be detected from small planes or drones well before symptoms appear, offering panicky growers the prospect of an early warning system, scientists said Monday. Using high-tech cameras that detect heat and the electromagnetic spectrum from X-ray to radio waves, researchers were able to spot diseased trees that, on the ground, still seemed healthy, they reported in the journal Nature Plants. “After infection, it takes four to 14 months before visual symptoms are observable by plant pathologists in the field,” lead author Pablo Zarco-Tejada, an agricultural engineer at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, told AFP.

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