Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) recently announced a project to establish a system for early and rapid diagnosis of all potato diseases, and provide Alberta potato growers a proactive surveillance platform.
RDAR says on its website that the outcomes from this project will benefit all Alberta’s potato producers and plant disease researchers. Upon completion, the Alberta Plant Health Lab (APHL) will adopt the enhanced protocols.
Additionally, all results of this study will be publicly available for adoption and utilization by other commercial and research labs in the province.
RDAR points out that there is no currently available system or database on standardized potato diagnostic protocols in Canada. Results from this project will generate intellectual property, in which all polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based protocols will be housed in a database. This will be a valuable resource for the potato industry and research on potato pathology and diagnostics.
The protocols will also serve as standards and references when alternative protocols are being developed by other researchers. The results will be used to create a database hosting the optimized PCR-based diagnostic protocols for 67 potato pathogens; the database will be accessible to all diagnosis labs and research groups across the province.
RDAR is said to be an arm’s-length, non-profit corporation, established in Alberta last year to review, assess and fund innovative research that will impact farmers and ranchers for years to come, ensuring that its research funding priorities are producer-led.