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Blight map reveals evolution of potato disease in Europe in 2019

Late blight genotype 2019 samples (courtesy Euroblight website)
“The weather in 2019 was very dry and unfavourable for late blight development in some regions but very conducive for blight in other regions like Denmark and Northern Britain”

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 2019 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 approximately 1800 samples collected and genotyped in 2019.

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 geolocation data to plot the diversity across Europe.

James Hutton Institute researcher Dr David Cooke, co-leader of the EuroBlight study, said: “Three emerging clones of P. infestans (37_A2, 36_A2 and 41_A2) increased their combined frequency from 10% in 2016 to 40% of the population in 2019.

“The weather in 2019 was very dry and unfavourable for late blight development in some regions but very conducive for blight in other regions like Denmark and Northern Britain.”

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, BSV Network (France), Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques, Certis, Cheminova, Corteva CropSolutions, CUConsulting, CZAV, Delphi, Emsland Group, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Eurofins, Germicopa/ Florimond Deprez, Hochschule Osnabrück, HZPC Holland B.V., INRAE, 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, Staphyt, TEAGASC, Technical University of Munich, and Wageningen University. Visit the Euroblight website for more details.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, 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-2019 on 07/04/20 08:24:19 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.