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Researchers discuss Asian potato blight management network

Researchers discussed the establishment of an Asian blight management network
“It was very useful to establish and develop links with our Asian colleagues so we can share experiences in managing the more aggressive pathogen lineages in different cropping systems to help growers combat this disease.

India is now the third largest potato producer in the world and at a recent meeting scientists expressed enthusiasm in developing a global collaborative network on potato late blight management. Dr David Cooke, plant pathologist from our Cell and Molecular Sciences group, took part in the 3rd International Symposium on Phytophthora: Taxonomy, Genomics, Pathogenicity, Resistance and Disease Management, held earlier this month in Bengaluru, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss information on the EuroBlight network and meet with key late blight researchers in India. Dr Pallem Chowdappa, organiser of the meeting, discussed experiences of the threat posed by changes in the population of Phytophthora infestans. His working group has documented a dramatic increase in late blight problems on potato and tomato crops since 2009.  

Dr Sanjoy Guha Roy from West Bengal State University spoke about his work sampling a devastating blight epidemic in the northeast Indian states in 2014. Dr Sanjeev Sharma from the Central Potato Research Institute in Shimla presented his valuable work on the characterisation of populations in the northern states, breeding for resistance and the development of decision support systems.  

In India, crop losses due to blight are especially difficult for the many smaller-scale producers who often borrow money to grow each crop and tend not to have access to the full range of fungicides or specialist knowledge and management advice available to growers in Europe.

There was agreement among the group that the establishment of a research network and co-operation on pathogen population change within a wider Asian blight management network would be beneficial.  As a first step, there was an agreement to share information and data on Phytophthora infestans populations afflicting Indian potato and tomato crops.

Dr David Cooke said: “It was very useful to establish and develop links with our Asian colleagues so we can share experiences in managing the more aggressive pathogen lineages in different cropping systems to help growers combat this disease.”

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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/researchers-discuss-asian-potato-blight-management-network on 21/07/19 06:02:12 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.