Impact of Research on Blackleg Management in Potato Crops

Pectobacterium atrosepticum, the pathogen responsible for potato blackleg and soft rot of potato is one of the most economically damaging bacterial plant pathogens for the UK potato industry. This webinar will present some of the impacts from an AHDB / Scottish Government-funded project investigating how improved seed management can minimise losses due to blackleg disease.  The scientists involved in this project have also put together a Factsheet entitled ‘Blackleg Essential Facts’ based on over 50 years of research, which we hope will be useful to help guide blackleg management and stimulate discussion on future priorities.  A series of short presentations will highlight some of the work of the project including results of mini-tuber testing for possible Pectobacterium contamination; monitoring of potato stocks during commercial storage, handling, packaging and transport; impact of ventilation on Pectobacterium contamination; and a new method for tracing the sources of contamination in seed stocks.  There will also be a short introduction to a new £2 million project on blackleg, which is investigating a number of new avenues for disease control, including the interaction between Pectobacterium and free-living nematodes.  This will be followed by an interactive discussion on the Blackleg Essential Facts. 

 Programme and speakers:

  1. 5-minute introduction from Ian Toth.
  2. Greig Cahill, Bacteriologist, SASA - Testing minitubers for Pectobacterium atrosepticum
  3. Glyn Harper, Senior Scientist, AHDB - Management of soft rot during storage
  4. Stuart Wale, Potato Consultant and Researcher, SAC Consulting - Storage and blackleg control: the pinch points
  5. John Elphinstone, Plant Bacteriologist, Fera Science Ltd - Genetically differentiating strains of Pectobacterium atrosepticum to study their spread in pre-basic seed crops
  6. Ian Toth, Senior Scientist and Director of Scotland’s Plant Health Centre, James Hutton Institute - New avenues for blackleg management



If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.


T 01904 771218

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