Improved management of virus diseases

Background

Understanding the economic impact and management of virus symptoms in crops and /or the vectors that transmit viruses is an important issue for several AHDB sectors. This is evidenced by the number and scope of publications on the topics (See Table 1). Having reviewed this previous work, AHDB is now seeking to commission new research to address crop virus management. Applicants are invited to tender for one or more of three funding opportunities:

A.  Horizon scanning

B.  Production of a recommended approach to study virus diseases in horticultural crops and its application to example crops (peas)

C.  Vector management with the aim of reducing the transmission of key carrot viruses.

Scope

The details of the three funding opportunities are:

A.  Horizon scanning. A review of novel control options/approaches that have potential to improve the management of virus symptoms in UK arable and horticultural crops. This should be a review of published and grey literature and cover cereals, oilseeds, potatoes and field vegetables. It is expected it will cover options in development in relation to both the host crops and approaches that reduce virus transmission via the management of virus vectors. Approaches that are already successfully employed in crop production systems overseas, but not currently used in UK, should also be included in the review. Applicants should specify the timescale for completion of the review. Key outputs from the review will be:

  • a prioritized list of future research (strategic and applied) recommendations for each crop;

  • a prioritized list of control options which are used successfully elsewhere and should be evaluated/validated under UK conditions.

B.  Production of a recommended approach to study virus diseases in horticultural crops and its application to example crops (peas). The publications listed in Table 1 highlight that the knowledge concerning the prevalence, economic impact and biology of viruses in crops varies considerably between crops. The knowledge gaps have become more apparent through the application of diagnostic techniques, which in some cases have highlighted the presence of previously unknown viruses or suggested that viruses formerly only found in weeds may have a strong association with the presence of disease symptoms in some crops. Given this we are seeking proposals that describe and justify a systematic approach to determine the virus health of a crop, the economic impact of viruses on the crop and the selection of the viruses which warrant further study (i.e., to elucidate their mode of transmission).

It is envisaged that the approach will be applied to peas but we require that the applicants comment on the extent to which the systematic approach could be applied to other crops (such that it becomes the standard approach to investigate crops where there is limited information about viral diseases).  It is anticipated that the approach would be applied to lettuce crops in the future but this is outside the scope of the current call.

In their proposals applicants should describe the sampling and diagnostics techniques which would be used. They should indicate how an estimate of the economic impact of viruses in peas would be calculated. Applicants should justify the duration of their proposed project. It is expected that the key outcomes of the proposed research would be:

  • Results from a systematic survey which provide baseline evidence on the prevalence of viruses in UK pea crops

  • Information on the association of viruses with symptoms in pea crops

  • An estimate of the current economic impact of virus infection in pea crops in UK (or regions of the UK if there is substantial variation between regions).

  • A ranked list of viruses that merit further study (e.g., to elucidate their mode of transmission)

  • A discussion of whether the methodologies (sampling, diagnostics, economic impact assessment) used would be directly comparable to other crops, or would require modifications.

C.  Vector management with the aim of reducing the transmission of key carrot viruses. Compared to some other horticultural crops there is more information on the prevalence of viruses in carrot crops and their association with disease symptoms. The most commonly occurring carrot viruses are aphid transmitted. However, information is lacking on the timing of virus transmission and the extent of carry-over from one carrot crop to another. The provision of this information will inform the optimum targeting of control options. Therefore, we are seeking proposals that describe and justify a programme of work to determine the timing of virus transmission and the aphids involved and to demonstrate improved management of virus transmission. Applicants must specify which viruses will be studied and should justify the duration of their proposed project. Applicants should provide a description of how the impact of their proposed programme of work could be evaluated, including any baseline data that would need to be collected at/before the start of the work.

It is expected that the key outcomes of the proposed research will be:

  • An understanding of the importance of different aphid species in virus transmission and the relative impacts of different viruses on carrot yield

  • Information on the sources of virus including the extent of carry-over from carrot crops and other host plants

  • Quantitative information on the timing of virus transmission and development of management strategies (including optimum timings for application of insecticides and/or other control options) for growers to reduce virus transmission.

Collaboration and co-sponsorship

Joint applications from two or more organisations are acceptable and encouraged where there is added value. AHDB reserves the right to not proceed with any application or, if appropriate, to request applicants to form a consortium to work together to deliver a programme of activities. Applications involving in-kind and/or cash funding from industry are particularly encouraged.

Budget

The indicative budget for all three activities is £315,000 over three years. It is not anticipated that the Horizon Scanning review will cost more than £15,000.

Completion and submission of the application form

Please refer to the guidance notes for completion of application forms. Applicants should complete the AHDB Research and KE Application Form - Full Proposal Large, for each funding opportunity for which they tender. Each submission should be given a title to indicate for which funding opportunity is being tendered. Completed forms must be emailed to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than10:00 on 10 September 2018. All submissions will only be opened after the closing date.

The criteria on which the proposals will be assessed is outlined here. Under section 2.7 (How will success be measured e.g. KPI’s?) applicants should provide a description of how the impact of their proposed programme of work could be evaluated, including any baseline data that would need to be collected at/before the start of the work.

Applications are made on the basis of the AHDB Research Funding Agreement and any organisation receiving funding shall comply with the terms and conditions specified in the RFA. AHDB will not be held responsible for any expenses or losses incurred by applicants in the preparation of an application(s).

Project duration

The contract(s) for funding opportunities B and C ( Production of a recommended approach to study virus diseases in horticultural crops and its application to example crops (peas); vector management with the aim of reducing the transmission of key carrot viruses) will commence, at the earliest, on 1st November 2018 and be of up to three years’ duration with the option to extend for up to 12 months.

Questions

If you have a specific question related to this call please email research@ahdb.org.uk.  As part of the open tender process AHDB cannot discuss specific project details with you before submitting your proposal. View the Questions & Answers for this Research Call. It is your responsibility to check this page regularly for new information.

Table 1. Examples of relevant AHDB publications and reports are provided below for information on the scope of work on viruses/vectors completed to date.

Reference

Crop

Title

FV382

Carrots

The epidemiology of carrot yellow leaf virus- the development of a decision support system for the management of carrot viruses

FV445

Carrots

Optimising control of willow-carrot aphid and carrot fly

FV453

Peas

Investigating the current knowledge on distribution and control of pea viruses

PE025

Tomatoes

Development and deployment of genotype-specific LAMP assays for monitoring Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) in tomato

PO 016a

Pansies

The role of environmental factors in the incidence of Pansy mottle syndrome (PaMS)

R428

Potatoes

Aphids and virus transmission in seed crops

R449

Potatoes

Effectiveness of mineral oils in minimising the spread of non-persistent viruses in potato seed crops in GB

Student Report #26

Oilseed rape

Control of Turnip yellows virus: Assessing impact on oilseed rape quality traits and dissecting circulative transmission by aphids