Targeting symptomless pathogen growth to control fungal plant diseases

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted

Abstract

The aim of this project is to test two hypotheses relating to symptomless growth of plant pathogens in host tissues, using oilseed rape (Brassica napus)/ Leptosphaeria maculans (phoma stem canker disease) as a model host/pathogen system:

1. A crucial component of plant QTL-mediated (quantitative, field) resistance operates against symptomless pathogen growth;
2. Effects of crop fungicides on symptomless pathogen growth are crucial to their control of disease;

Testing the two hypotheses will involve the following tasks:

Task 1 will address hypothesis 1 by comparing results obtained in controlled environment (CE) experiments (GFP, qPCR) on resistance to symptomless spread of the pathogen in leaf stalks with data from field experiments (qPCR, stem canker severity assessed by sampling stems before harvest).

Task 2 will address hypothesis 1 by comparing results obtained in controlled environment experiments (GFP, qPCR) on resistance to symptomless spread of the pathogen in plant stems with data from field experiments.

Task 3 Confidential

Task 4 will address hypothesis 2 by examining interactions between fungicide and genetic resistance effects on symptomless pathogen growth in leaf stalks and plant stems. It will involve CE experiments (GFP) and field experiments with resistant and susceptible lines. CE experiments will be complemented by field experiments with a range of fungicide timings.

Publications

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