Industry representative: Mike Smith
HDC project cost: £16,877
Early and widespread introduction of a metalaxyl-M resistant strain of the pathogen responsible for impatiens downy mildew infections in commercial production in 2011 meant that the disease proved difficult to control. The proactive management decisions made by the industry regarding production of cutting raised plants in 2011 seem to have minimised the risk of infections by the metalaxyl-M resistant strain of Plasmopara obducens as no infection caused by this strain were detected during 2012 (PO 011) or 2013 (PO 011a); in 2013 no downy mildew infections of impatiens were reported. However the risk of infection by this strain still remains. This small scale project aims to continue the monitoring carried out in 2012 and 2013.
Benefits to industry:
In the UK, the annual retail value of the impatiens crop was estimated to be £40m prior to 2011. The outbreak of downy mildew in 2011 demonstrated that the disease has potential to destroy whole-site annual production as well as undermine consumer confidence in this commercially important product.