Developing robustness to biotic stress in fruit crops by below-ground phenotyping using novel image acquisition techniques

Lead Participant: East Malling Services Ltd.


Strawberries contribute to a nutritious and healthy diet and are an important UK crop. Increasing restrictions in the type and frequency of chemical controls mean that existing varieties will soon be unsuitable for sustainable production in the soil. This project will develop technologies to aid the measurement of below-ground traits controlling natural plant resistance to nematodes, which in combination with a fungal pathogen called Verticillium dahliae (the causative agent of a wilting disease) cause major crop losses. Novel measurement techniques will be developed, which will allow the identification of wilt and nematode resistance genes that UK breeding programmes can harness to improve new varieties. Furthermore, this novel trait measurement system can be applied to other crop breeding programmes (along with other applications) to enhance the efficiency of trait meaurement on large plant populations.




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