Viewing cable 04MUSCAT2010
Title: REQUEST FOR SPEAKER ON WITCHES BROOM DISEASE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04MUSCAT20102004-11-17 13:09:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 002010 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), NEA/P (FFINVER), 
IIP/G/NEA, IIP/T/ES (JSCHAFFER, GCHRISTISON), AND EB/TPP 
STATE PLEASE PASS NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION/LSIMARSKI AND 
PPENHALE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAGR ECON TBIO KPAO OIIP MU
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR SPEAKER ON WITCHES BROOM DISEASE 
 
REF: STATE 228322 
 
¶1. Embassy Muscat requests that IIP and EB fund one or more 
agricultural biotechnology speakers to participate in Sultan 
Qaboos University's first international conference on the 
"Prevention and Treatment of Witches Broom Disease of Lime Trees" 
which will be held March 13-16, 2005.  This request is keyed to 
the IIP speaker request format.  Details follow: 
 
¶2. Background: Witches Broom Disease of Lime Trees (WBDL) has 
decimated the Sultanate of Oman's once-vibrant lime industry. The 
symptoms of the disease -- abnormal growth on branches resembling 
tiny brooms of twigs -- were first described in Oman's lime trees 
in 1986, and by 1994 some 5% of the country's lime trees were 
infected.  Oman's strain of WBDL is particularly virulent and by 
1996, virtually all trees had succumbed, according to the Food 
and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  Infected trees frequently 
survive a few years with poor yields and poor quality fruit, and 
ultimately die.  In recent years the disease has spread to 
neighboring countries such as the United Arab Emirates, India, 
Iran and Pakistan and now poses a threat to lime and citrus 
worldwide.  Oman used to grow enough limes (traditionally the 
second major fruit crop after dates) for local consumption and 
even export, but now must import the fruit.  Effective treatment 
of the disease and the introduction of resistant hybrids will 
promote sustainable agriculture, increase acceptance of 
agricultural biotechnology in Oman, and potentially reduce 
migratory pressures from traditional agricultural areas in Oman. 
 
¶3. MPP Goal: Both the Embassy and conference organizers from 
Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) believe that American expertise in 
this field is invaluable in identifying appropriate prevention, 
treatment and containment strategies for WBDL.  Significant work 
on WBDL has been conducted in the United States at U.S. 
Department of Agriculture and private research institutions, 
particularly in the development of disease-resistant hybrids. 
Prevention and containment of the disease advances the Embassy's 
MPP goal of supporting Oman's economic growth to better the lives 
of all Omanis, particularly those in rural areas.  U.S. 
participation in the conference will also support Oman's efforts 
to protect its agricultural and environmental resources from 
disease that, if left unchecked, could devastate the regional 
lime industry.  The conference will serve as a catalyst to bring 
the Gulf countries and others together to share research and 
ideas on how to combat the spread of the disease and help to 
revive Oman's historical lime production by finding solutions to 
WBDL. 
 
¶4. Specific Subject Speaker Is Expected To Address: This 
conference will present research on WBDL, explore prevention and 
treatment strategies, and propose transnational responses to the 
disease.  The speaker should be prepared to address one or more 
of the above topics, and discuss the results of plant material 
research linked to the disease conducted by USDA facilities and 
private institutes in the United States. 
 
¶5. Audience: Officials from the ministries of Agriculture and 
Fisheries; Regional Municipalities, Environment, and Water 
Resources; and Commerce and Industry; horticultural scientists, 
academics and international citrus researchers; businesspeople 
and farmers.  SQU organizers expect participation from the entire 
GCC region and parts of South Asia where WBDL has spread. 
 
¶6. Level Of Speaker Expertise: The speaker will lecture at a 
major international conference, participating as a discussant in 
sessions of the conference.  The speaker will address strategies 
for treating WBDL and present proposals for transnational 
responses to the disease.  In addition to the conference, the 
Embassy will program the speaker at agricultural colleges, where 
he/she will be asked to address Sudden Decline of Mango disease 
(SDM), which is also present in Oman.  In addition, the speaker 
will engage in press interviews on his/her area of expertise. 
 
¶7. Time Frame: FY05; Q2; Embassy requests speaker for four days 
(March 12-16, 2005).  Arrive before March 12.  Conference dates 
are March 13-16, 2005. 
 
¶8. Name Request: Embassy requests that IIP recruit one or more of 
the following speakers, all of whom are knowledgeable about the 
treatment and prevention of WBDL and SDM.  They have also served 
as advisors to government agencies on policies to prevent the 
spread of agricultural diseases.  The suggested speakers are 
listed in order of preference: 
 
¶A. Harold W. Browning 
Center Director and Professor of Entomology 
Citrus Research and Education Center 
University of Florida/IFAS 
Tel: 863-956-1151 
E-mail: hwbr@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶B. Mikeal L. Roose 
Professor of Genetics 
Department of Botany and Plant Sciences 
University of California - Riverside 
Tel: 909-787-4137 
E-mail: roose@citrus.ucr.edu 
 
¶C. J.W. Grosser 
Professor, Citrus Education and Research Center 
University of Florida/IFAS 
Tel: 863-956-1151 
E-mail: jwg@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶D. C.J. Chang 
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology 
University of Georgia, Griffin Campus 
Tel: 770-412-4015 
E-mail: cchang@griffin.uga.edu 
 
¶E. Fred G. Gmitter Jr. 
Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center 
University of Florida/IFAS 
Tel: 1-863-956-1151 
E-mail: fgg@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶F. Dr. C.J. Lovatt 
Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences 
University of California - Riverside 
E-mail: carol.lovatt@ucr.edu 
 
¶G. Randy C. Ploetz 
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology 
University of Florida - Tropical Crops Research Center 
Tel: 305-246-7000 
E-mail: rcp@ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶H. Prof. William S. Castle 
Citrus Research and Education Center 
University of Florida/IFAS 
E-mail: castle@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶I. Gloria A. Moore 
Professor, Horticultural Science Department 
University of Florida 
E-mail: gam@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶J. Dr. Walter Kender 
Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center 
University of Florida 
E-mail: kender@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶K. Prof. Kohn da Graca 
Professor of Plant Pathology 
Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center 
Tel: 956-968-2132 
E-mail: jdagraca@ag.tamu.edu 
 
¶L. W. O. Dawson 
Eminent Scientist 
Citrus Research and Education center 
University of Florida/IFAS 
E-mail: wodtmv@crec.ifas.ufl.edu 
 
¶M. Eliezer S. Louzada, Ph.D. 
Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center 
Tel: 956-968-2132 
E-mail: e-louzada@tamu.edu 
 
¶9. Language Requirements: Fluent English only. 
 
¶10. Funding: Per reftel, the Embassy requests that IIP and EB 
fund this speaker.  Conference organizers will provide lodging 
during the three-day conference. 
 
¶11. Post Responsible Officer: Public Affairs Officer Charles G. 
Cole; Office Phone: (968) 698-989 Ext. 433;  Office Fax: (968) 
699-771; Office Fax: (968) 699 771; IVG/DSN: 741-4433; Mobile: 
(968) 941-5561; Home: (968) 603-729; E-mail: ColeCG@state.gov 
 
BALTIMORE