Developing integrated approaches for pest and disease control in field crops


Providing information in real time, online, on plant virus vectors and their status in terms of whether they were carrying virus on a weekly basis has allowed growers to take decisions on whether to apply treatments for aphid and virus control.

Link to BBSRC report

Project code:
CP 144
01 June 2015 - 31 May 2019
BBSRC – Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI)
AHDB sector cost:
Total project value:
Project leader:
Dr J Walsh, University of Warwick

About this project

Aims and Objectives:

  1. Develop an integrated strategy incorporating cultural, chemical and biological approaches with a decision support mechanism for controlling plant viruses and their insect vectors in field crops with generic applicability.
  • A number of individual control measures for the virus Turnip yellows virus (TuYV) and the insect vector Myzus persicae have been identified in contained experiments, but have not been evaluated in the field, or combined to quantify synergy and optimise control.
  1. Develop pre-breeding material and molecular markers for a new component of the integrated strategy (extreme plant resistance to TuYV with associated molecular markers for the genes).
  • No extreme resistance to TuYV is available in oleracea vegetables. We have identified extreme resistances in wild B. oleracea relatives which the seed companies will exploit.
  1. Quantify the effects of each available component of the integrated strategy and
  • The currently available treatments that we identified in giving some control of the virus and/or its vector and reducing yield losses include, partial plant resistance, insecticide seed treatments, insecticide sprays and delaying infection; each will be assessed individually, in pairs and threes so that estimates of synergy can be made.
  1. Evaluate the integrated strategy under different vector and virus inoculum pressures.
  • Multifactorial plot experiments will be carried out at two sites, at one of the sites sources of persicae and TuYV inoculum will be introduced to induce high virus infection and high vector colonisation pressures. At the other site, natural infection will be evaluated.
  1. Monitor the insecticide-resistance status of the virus vectors.
  • The insecticide-resistance status of persicae will be determined from catches from suction traps close to the experimental sites and water traps immediately adjacent to the plots.