Project Details


Alternaria disease, also known as early blight, can be a very economically devastating disease on potato, principally caused by Alternaria solani but A. alternata is now frequently being found. If not controlled, it can cause yield losses of up to 30% in the UK, with greater losses in warmer climates. Warming temperatures are experienced in the UK from climate change, not only increase the risk of drought stresses but also the grower’s reliance on irrigation. This is important as the Alternaria spp. pathogens favour periods of wet and dry weather and stressed crops. Field beans (Vicia faba) are infected by A. alternata in warmer climates, therefore there is a possibility that in combination with presence of inoculum and favourable weather there may be cross-infection of A. alternata between potatoes and beans acting as alternate hosts for each other, in addition to other known alternate hosts in the Solanum genus. Chemical control strategies are effective. However, their use is limited as they are often minimised in favour of Phytophtora infestans (late blight) control so cultural control to reduce risk of Alternaria spp. infection is often the main control strategy. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies that utilise chemical, cultural and host-resistance/tolerance being viewed as the most effective control strategies of many other diseases. There is a need to provide more information about potentially more tolerant varieties and alternate hosts for improving control of early blight. Therefore, this project proposes to screen potato varieties for tolerance to Alternaria spp. and to identify potential hosts, including field beans (Vicia faba) in glasshouse conditions.
Effective start/end date7/08/237/08/24


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