A desk-study to review global knowledge on best practice for Oomycete root-rot detection and control


CP 126 - A desk-study to review global knowledge on best practice for Oomycete root-rot detection and control

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Tim Pettitt, University of Worcester
CP 126


Industry representative: Russ Woodcock

HDC Project Cost: £24,465


The Problem:

Oomycete fungi cause root and stem base rots in a wide range of horticultural crops ranging from damping-off diseases in seedling propagation to cankers and root-rots in fruit trees. Despite broad knowledge in the scientific and grower community regarding identification and treatment of the pathogens, problems still persist with re-course to fungicide treatments often considered to be the first option for control.
The Oomycete workshop held in October 2012 brought together the knowledge and concepts of many of the key investigators in this area of plant pathology and provided indications of the potential for future work, as well identifying gaps in the current knowledge base. To take this work forward HDC wish to tackle the problem of Oomycete root-rots in a wider strategic way, rather than via small individual projects which often focus on a specific host/pathogen interactions.
Aims and objectives:
To identify key gaps and improved knowledge for detecting and controlling root-rots caused by Oomycete fungi (Pythium & Phytophthora spp.) for a range of UK Horticultural crops which will contribute to directing a future research programme with the ultimate aim of establishing and delivering best practice guidelines.
The successful proposal will be expected to provide a comprehensive review of UK and overseas research, technological and diagnostic developments and control mechanisms and methodologies covering the last 20 years to identify major research advances and knowledge transfer gaps.
The review should integrate information from the HDC’s back catalogue and other relevant UK and International sources where relevant.
Specific objectives
For example, it is anticipated that the review should where possible:
1. Identify gaps in our understanding of the epidemiology of the organisms and how this links to potential sources of infection.
2. Identify areas where horticultural practices are not sufficiently informed, sometimes leading to further dissemination of inoculum and disease spread.
3. Indicate where new methodologies and technologies exist which would provide on-site tools to reduce inoculum and disease spread.
4. Evaluate the scope and efficacy of a range of chemical products which may have the potential to control Oomycetes using a wider range of modes of action.
5. Evaluate the range and availability of diagnostic tests or testing facilities available which would enable growers to manage risk.