16AGRITECHCAT5: Integrating Control strategies Against soil-borne Rhizoctonia solani in OilSeed rape (ICAROS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences

Abstract

Increased oilseed rape (Brassica napus, OSR) cropping frequency and incidence of soil-borne diseases have been recently identified as major threats and contributory causes to the current 'yield plateau' in UK OSR crops. Rhizoctonia solani, anastomosis group (AG) 2-1 is strongly associated with the presence of its main host, OSR, and the pathogen is implicated in the yield decline of the crop grown with increased frequency in the rotation. Severe damping off disease caused by AG2-1 has been shown to significantly impact on several root system architecture traits of OSR. The epidemiology and control of AG2-1 and Rhizoctonia diseases in UK OSR crops have not previously been investigated.
The aim of this project is to develop new integrative strategies for disease control through work packages designed to i) identify resistance/tolerance traits and novel resistance loci which can be utilised in crop breeding; ii) elucidate disease epidemiology in relation to soil environment and host; iii) quantify yield losses due to damping off diseases caused by R. solani and iv) develop methods for control using varietal resistance and seed treatment for improved disease management and yield of OSR. This project will develop a high-throughput disease screen for phenotyping a range of Brassica napus lines, including conventional varieties, hybrids, diversity sets and mapping populations to identify novel loci for resistance against R. solani. Future strategies for effective disease management will be established through multidisciplinary studies integrating disease modelling, computed tomography and molecular biology to determine the epidemiology of R. solani in relation to its host and the environment, quantify yield losses and determine responses to seed treatment for Rhizoctonia disease. A major output at completion will be integrated guidelines incorporating novel seed treatments and varietal resistance/tolerance for improved disease management and protection of OSR yield.

Technical Summary

Increased oilseed rape (Brassica napus, OSR) cropping frequency and incidence of soil-borne diseases have been recently identified as major threats and contributory causes to the current 'yield plateau' in UK OSR crops. Rhizoctonia solani, anastomosis group (AG) 2-1 is strongly associated with the presence of its main host, OSR, and the pathogen is implicated in the yield decline of the crop grown with increased frequency in the rotation. Severe damping off disease caused by AG2-1 has been shown to significantly impact on several root system architecture traits of OSR. The epidemiology and control of AG2-1 and Rhizoctonia diseases in UK OSR crops have not previously been investigated.
The aim of this project is to develop new integrative strategies for disease control through work packages designed to i) identify resistance/tolerance traits and novel resistance loci which can be utilised in crop breeding; ii) elucidate disease epidemiology in relation to soil environment and host; iii) quantify yield losses due to damping off diseases caused by R. solani and iv) develop methods for control using varietal resistance and seed treatment for improved disease management and yield of OSR. This project will develop a high-throughput disease screen for phenotyping a range of Brassica napus lines, including conventional varieties, hybrids, diversity sets and mapping populations to identify novel loci for resistance against R. solani. Future strategies for effective disease management will be established through multidisciplinary studies integrating disease modelling, computed tomography and molecular biology to determine the epidemiology of R. solani in relation to its host and the environment, quantify yield losses and determine responses to seed treatment for Rhizoctonia disease. A major output at completion will be integrated guidelines incorporating novel seed treatments and varietal resistance/tolerance for improved disease management and protection of OSR yield.

Planned Impact

Control of Rhizoctonia diseases in oilseed rape (OSR) is currently only possible through the exclusive use of fungicides, which increases input costs and is unsustainable crop management practice in the long term. Furthermore, there are currently no seed treatments registered against Rhizoctonia diseases in UK OSR, highlighting the lack of information on yield loss and contribution of the disease to current establishment losses estimated at £30M in the worst years. The ultimate economic impact of the project will be the recovery of loss in establishment failure or yield due the disease through improved control strategies thus stabilising farming incomes. The ultimate impact is envisaged as increased competitiveness of UK OSR industry through acceleration of novel trait discovery such as disease resistance/tolerance to R. solani realised through commercial crop breeding and benefiting UK OSR production. The identification of novel resistance or tolerance traits and genes in OSR against R. solani, AG 2-1 will allow integration with more targeted crop protection approaches such as low dose seed treatment.
Expected environmental impact of this project is to rationalise the use, effectiveness and response to seed treatments in OSR varieties against damping off disease caused by R. solani and avoid the use of unnecessary or ineffective fungicide treatment where varietal resistance/tolerance can be deployed. Protecting the root system of OSR during establishment should result in lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimise nitrate leaching through more effective nutrient and water uptake by the crop and improved yield.
Improved yield protection in OSR will be crucial to meet production demand whilst minimising pressure for land use change and maintaining food security. Achieving effective control of soil-borne disease such as Rhzoctonia on currently utilised land for crop production will allow land use diversification thus increasing overall biodiversity.
 
Description The main achievements of this project are :

1) Enhanced understanding of the underpinning science and evidence base on disease caused by the important soil-borne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The project has led to a wide range of discoveries including on the complex relationship between R. solani and the soil environment, and the effects of R. solani on OSR including, for example, delay in flowering and synchrony, with evidence that the new treatment developed through this project will promote synchronous flowering which will provide a further benefit for producers that adopt it.

2) Candidate genes for improved resistance and varietal improvement of OSR for crop production to be pursued with breeding companies.

3) New seed treatment that is expected to lead to improved OSR yield and cost savings for growers over the longer-term.

4)The development and dissemination of disease management guidelines that is expected to lead to enhanced understanding of the effects of an important soil-borne pathogen on OSR production and yield for growers, even where the specific product developed through the project is not taken-up.
Exploitation Route The developed resources online https://ahdb.org.uk/rhizoctonia and future development and dissemination of the disease management in the OSR production guidelines by AHDB is expected to lead to enhanced understanding of effects of an important soil-borne pathogen on OSR production and yield for growers, even where the specific product developed through the project is not taken-up. The project has also led to a range of other publicity outputs including articles in Crop Production Magazine (a specialist journal for UK arable farmers), the Farmers Guardian and Arable Farming, in order to raise awareness and generate interest/demand for the project outputs.
The principal outcome of the project will be a new seed treatment product expected to lead to improved OSR yield and cost savings for growers over the longer-term.
Development of new varieties of OSR seeds by breeding companies for crop production in long-term will require further research and investment, including specialist breeding facilities.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL https://ahdb.org.uk/rhizoctonia
 
Description The principal direct outcome of the project will be a new seed treatment product, to be manufactured and rolled-out commercially by Syngenta to its existing and potential client base. The treatment involves a combination of existing treatments and a 'new' ingredient developed through the project. This is currently undergoing regulatory approval in the UK (via the Chemicals Regulation Division) and Syngenta will subsequently seek regulatory approval at an EU level. This product is expected to lead to improved OSR yield and cost savings for growers over the longer-term, although it is recognised that there is a challenge in raising the profile of the issue and 'generating demand', which will include both direct engagement with distributors and the dissemination of the findings of the research via the guidelines. At this stage, the strand of the work focused on the development of new varieties of OSR seeds for crop production is not expected to lead to a new product in the short- or medium-term, as this will require further research and investment, including specialist breeding facilities. Alongside the potential commercial effects of the project there is a range of other benefits: • enhanced understanding of the underpinning science and evidence base on R. solani; the project has led to a wide range of discoveries including on the complex relationship between on R. solani and the external growing environment, and the effects of R. solani on OSR including for example related to flowering rates and synchrony, with evidence that the new treatment will promote synchronous flowering which will provide a further benefit for producers that adopt it • related this this, there were reported benefits in terms of developing the wider capacity, reputation, and knowledge-base of Syngenta in agronomy and agrochemical research, crucial in a business based on the understanding and application of science • from an academic perspective, the project is expected to lead to significant academic outputs and providing the underpinning evidence for further research funding applications, fore example on resistance/tolerance traits • the development and dissemination of the disease management guidelines is expected to lead to enhanced understanding of effects of R solani on OSR production and yield for growers, even where the specific product developed through the project is not taken-up. The project has also led to a range of other publicity outputs including articles in Crop Production Magazine (a specialist journal for UK arable farmers), the Farmers Guardian and Arable Farming, in order to raise awareness and generate interest/demand for the project outputs. • Imporved relationships between Syngenta and the University of Nottingham; whilst the partners were existing collaborators, the project has led to further embedding the relationships and sharing knowledge and understanding across the partnership in addtion to partnership with AHDB through the project.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Advances in soil-borne diseases etiology and control
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation The British Society of Plant Pathology 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 10/2019
 
Description Discovering of the soil microbiome in cereal intensive rotations
Amount £57,000 (GBP)
Organisation Syngenta International AG 
Sector Private
Country Switzerland
Start 07/2020 
End 07/2021
 
Description Effectiveness of seed treatments against soil-borne pathogens
Amount £13,152 (GBP)
Funding ID 310004 
Organisation Syngenta International AG 
Sector Private
Country Switzerland
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description Pathogen complexes with Rhizoctonia solani in EU soils
Amount £19,200 (GBP)
Funding ID 1216253 
Organisation Syngenta International AG 
Sector Private
Country Switzerland
Start 10/2018 
End 10/2019
 
Description Soil borne pathogen detection and quantification to aid decision making for treatment
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Syngenta International AG 
Department Syngenta Crop Protection
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description AHDB Agronomy Scotland 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact More than 400 scotish farmers and industry attended 4 days events in Scotland to outline renewed AHDB focus in Scotland. Presentations included dealing with soil health, diversifying rotations and brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description AHDB agronomy conference -4&5 December 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Workshop on soil health run by Rumiana Ray for both days of the conference for 100 agronomist delegates at conference by AHDB.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/crop-management/technical-events/agronomists-conference.aspx
 
Description CIS Root Health Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact More than 100 industry members and stakeholders were hosted by Syngenta to discuss root health concerns due to soil-borne pathogens in Russia and Ukraine. Experts were invited for panel discussions and presentations on the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://roothealth.com/forums/2016-minsk-cis/
 
Description Cereals Event 2019 Syngenta Stand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 12th/13th June 2019: CEREALS 2019 - ICAROS formed part of Syngenta display and flyers describing the Project were available to take away
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cereals June 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact More than 50 visitors at the Cereals event in 2018 gathered at the Syngenta stand where the ICAROS project was presented using interactive videos and talks. The visitors during the both days of the event reported increased interest in the project activities and outputs including change of perception of the effects of soil-borne disease in OSR crops and new insights on how to protect crop establishment and yield.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/rhizoctonia
 
Description Combating damping off at OSR establishment- Technical research in action - September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Publication on research outputs from ICAROS with main messages for industry including farmers and advisers/agronomists in Farmers Guardian, Arable farming.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://issuu.com/farmersguardian/docs/arable_farming_-_september_2018
 
Description Crop Production Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Interview and article prepared for stakeholders of Syngenta and AHDB
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/media/1259820/T2F-June-2017-%E2%80%93-Out-of-sight-out-of-mind.pdf
 
Description Editorial Article in Farmers Guardian May 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Short article written on the project aims and preliminary results in the section - Arable farming. Aimed at raising awareness.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.fginsight.com/iosr-oilseed-rape-insights/sponsored---iosr-2018-articles/cool-way-to-grow...
 
Description Managing Below Ground Disease Threats: Advances in the Control of Soil-borne Pathogens in Oilseed Rape & Cereals - Agronomy day Syngenta 23rd October 2019, Kegworth, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Applied ICAROS-focused agronomy day - Syngenta-led, raising awareness of R solani final meeting, academic and summary (& IUK 'wrap-up' day).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Root Matters' group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Key stakeholders of Syngenta hosted at UoN for root matters discussion seminar
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Root Matters- getting to the root of the problem 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The workshop included discussion group of 12 farmers, called 'Root Matters', who are investigating different methods for improving rooting.They have split field trials on their farm and are meeting several times over the season with external speakers for discussions around soils and root health. Following the workshop and trial tour key messages were written up in article for CPM magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.cpm-magazine.co.uk/2018/04/10/root-matters-getting-root-problem/
 
Description Syngenta Breeders engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussion of main findings and future activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Syngenta Global engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Global engagement group to discuss major findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Syngenta Seedcare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Stakeholders meeting to discuss major findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Syngenta Seedcare Vibrance Launch - Kiev, Ukraine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Key note speaker at the Syngenta Seedcare Vibrance launch in Kiev, Ukraine -22-24.10.2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The secret world of Rhizcotonia: From theory to field 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article on messages fromt the project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://projectblue.blob.core.windows.net/media/Default/Imported%20Publication%20Docs/AHDB%20Cereals...
 
Description Workshop on Seed Treatment evaluation under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Seed Treatment Industry Stewardship Steering Committee. Rumiana Ray gave a presentation "Seed and soil-borne diseases and plant health" relating to ICAROS and other related work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019