Industry Representative: Ian Hall, Strawson Ltd
AHDB Horticulture Cost: £78,310
Summary: Cavity spot is a major carrot disease in the UK and is mainly caused by Pythium violae. Cavity spot reduces harvest quality. Visibly infected carrots are not acceptable for fresh produce market or processing.
An early indication for cavity spot would be of great value, because it can be used as a decision support system. The test has to assess risk on cavity spot at two cost adding moments: before distribution of straw and before fields are covered. Selecting low risk fields will reduce losses and leads to less costs for labour and straw.
Within this project, NSure aims to develop an early warning test to detect cavity spot at an early stage. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) will be used to identify carrot specific indicator genes that change upon an early infection with Pythium violae. The results of this project can be used in other projects regarding Pythium violae and cavity spot.
Aims and Objective:
(i) Project aim(s):
The aim of this project is to identify cavity spot specific indicator genes from carrot. These genes will be used to develop a practical test that quantifies the expression of those genes in order to determine the risk of cavity spot at an early stage.
(ii) Project objective(s):
1. Collection of carrot samples (approx. 200) from different fields in two different areas (Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire) from the largest commercial variety, Nairobi. The 2nd season, a second variety will be added. Uniform quality evaluation of sampled fields.
2. Selection of a longlist of carrot genes that may determine the risk of the development of cavity spot in variety Nairobi.
3. Validation of carrot indicator genes in Nairobi and a second, commercial variety.
4. Selection of a final set of carrot indicator genes that will be used for the test to determine the risk of the development of cavity spot.
5. Development of a user friendly test format including decision criteria that will be beneficial to the growers.
6. Continuous and active two-way communication between growers and researchers.