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Blight map reveals evolution of potato disease in Europe in 2018

Late blight genotype 2018 samples (courtesy Euroblight website)
“Three emerging clones increased their combined frequency from 10% in 2016 to 36% of the population in 2018”

An international consortium including the James Hutton Institute which tracks the European spatial distribution of Phytophthora infestans, the plant pathogen responsible for potato late blight, has updated the distribution of the pathogen by adding new data that visualises the distribution and diversity of dominant clones in the 2018 crop.

Plant pathologists from the EuroBlight consortium - which includes Aarhus University, Wageningen University and INRA - working with industry and research partners, have presented their latest report on its pathogen monitoring in potato crops. The report, which is available on the research group website, collates information from over 900 samples collected and genotyped in 2018.

As in previous years, ‘FTA cards’ were distributed to disease ‘scouts’ from across the industry who visited blight-infected crops. Disease lesions were pressed on the cards and returned to the laboratories where the pathogen DNA was fingerprinted at the James Hutton Institute and INRA, Rennes. The DNA fingerprint data was used to define the clonal lineages of the pathogen and combined with geo-location data to plot the diversity across Europe.

James Hutton Institute researcher Dr David Cooke, co-leader of the EuroBlight study, said: “In a very dry and generally low blight pressure summer sample numbers were lower than normal but still manage to span 22 countries. Around 80% of the samples belonged to defined clonal lineages observed in previous seasons.

“Some clones are widespread and have been present in Europe for more than a decade, but three emerging clones (37_A2, 36_A2 and 41_A2) increased their combined frequency from 10% in 2016 to 36% of the population in 2018. These more recent clones are displacing the established 13_A2, 6_A1 and 1_A1 clones which reduced from 60 to 40% of the samples over the same period.” 

Besides the James Hutton Institute, organisations that have participated in the sampling and sponsored the project include Aarhus University, ACVNPT, ADAMA, AFBI, Agrifirm, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Agriphar, AHDB Potatoes, ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal, BASF SE, Bayer CropScience AG, Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft, Belchim Crop Protection, Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques, Certis, Cheminova, CropSolutions, CUConsulting, CZAV, Delphi, Dupont de Nemours, Emsland Group, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Germicopa SAS, HZPC Holland B.V., INRA, Institute of Plant Protection and Environment in Serbia, Neiker, Nordisk Alkali, NIBIO, PCA, The Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR), Profytodsd, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Syngenta Agro GmbH, SynTech Research and Wageningen University. Visit the Euroblight website for more details.

Visit the Euroblight website for more details.

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Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

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Printed from /news/blight-map-reveals-evolution-potato-disease-europe-2018 on 28/01/20 07:46:54 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.