University of Hertfordshire

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Phoma stem canker is a damaging disease of oilseed rape in the UK, causing yield losses worth >£80p.a., despite the use of fungicides. The disease is caused by two closely related species Leptosphaeria maculans (Lm) and L. biglobosa (Lb). The Lm is generally associated with stem base canker while Lb is associated with upper stem lesions. Therefore, Lm is considered more damaging than Lb; previous research focused on control of Lm, with little research done on Lb. Our recent results showed that Lb can cause both basal stem cankers and upper stem lesions. Therefore, the contribution of Lb to oilseed rape yield losses has been underestimated. Recently, more Lb ascospores were observed in the pathogen populations and Lb isolates were less sensitive to triazole fungicides than Lm. There is a need to investigate yield loss caused by Lb for effective of control phoma stem canker. However, it is difficult to distinguish the yield loss caused by Lb from Lm in field experiments, because both Lm and Lb are present in natural pathogen populations, and there is little information about effects of weather conditions on Lm and Lb ascospore release in the UK. This bursary project aims to assess yield losses caused by Lm and Lb and to investigate weather factors on Lm and Lb ascospore release through the following three tasks.
Short titleyield losses caused by co-existing fungal pathogens
StatusNot started

ID: 22673404