Pests and Diseases

James Hutton Institute: Boosting potato breeding for PCN resistance by application of modern technologies

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN), and the species of Globodera pallida in particular, have been spreading steadily across the UK over the past recent decades, posing significant threats to the sustainability of the potato industry, especially the seed potato industry, in Scotland. Despite both statutory and agronomic counter measures (primarily rotations and the use of nematicides) that have been taken, the increasing prevalence[Read More…]

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New tool to detect blackleg disease in potato has widespread application

Potatoes are important. They rank fourth among the world’s staple crops. In the United States, they are grown commercially in 30 states and valued at $4 billion annually. Potatoes are also susceptible to 160 different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases, such as blackleg and soft rot diseases, which are caused by the bacterium Dickeya dianthicola. In 2015, an aggressive outbreak of[Read More…]

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UK: Nematicide Stewardship Programme recognised with a new gong at potato awards

THE potato industry’s efforts to husband the use of nematicides has been recognised with a major new award. The Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) has been given a pat on the back by receiving an environmental award at the first ever National Potato Industry Awards, held in Harrogate. Patrick Mitton, chair of the group, said there has been considerable commitment to[Read More…]

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Biodegradable spray helps battle crop pathogens

A new sprayable bioplastic—made of cornstarch and other natural ingredients—offers potential as an effective method for delivering beneficial microbes to fight aflatoxins and other agricultural pathogens and pests. Aflatoxins are highly toxic substances produced by many species of Aspergillus fungi. Aflatoxins can contaminate corn, peanuts, cotton, and other crops, and at high doses they threaten the health of people, pets, fish, livestock,[Read More…]

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Research: A quick and efficient hydroponic potato infection method for evaluating potato resistance and Ralstonia solanacearum virulence

Researchers say that potato, the third most important crop worldwide, plays a critical role in human food security. But, brown rot, one of the most destructive potato diseases caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, results in huge economic losses every year. A quick, stable, low cost and high throughout method is required to meet the demands of identification of germplasm resistance to bacterial[Read More…]

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Western Innovator: Aiding the fight against pink rot

Research by Jeff Miller, principal in Miller Research near Rupert, Idaho and other scientists is providing potato growers with more tools to use in controlling pink rot. The soil-borne disease is caused mainly by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica. It infects potato roots, stolons and tubers, and if not controlled can lead to significant losses in potato fields and in storage..[Read More…]

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‘A polerovirus, Potato Leafroll virus, alters plant‐vector interactions using three viral proteins’

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/pce.13684. Authors: MacKenzie F. PattonAurélie BakJordan SayreMichelle HeckClare L. Casteel Abstract: Potato leafroll virus (PLRV), genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae, is[Read More…]

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US: Potato virus Y is the most serious threat to potatoes

Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most serious problem facing the potato industry in the United States and is the main cause for rejection of seed potato lots. The virus affects potatoes in two ways: It reduces the yield of potato tubers by 70-80% and also negatively affects the quality of the remaining tubers due to necrotic reactions. PVY encompasses a[Read More…]

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Spore monitoring program helps Idaho farmers contain potato late blight

The Paul-area late blight outbreak wasn’t much of a story among the state’s potato farmers in 2019. University of Idaho Extension researchers say that fact may be due largely to their new network of 15 spore trappers, strategically placed near Idaho farm fields from Parma through Tetonia, according to a report by Idaho State Journal. The network — intended to[Read More…]

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Scottish potato industry unites to tackle pest threat

Farmers and growers are joining forces to tackle a threat which some fear could wipe out the Scottish potato industry by 2025. Experts have warned about the potential impact of the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN). According to a BBC report, the amount of land affected in Scotland has been doubling every six or seven years, and researchers fear[Read More…]

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Research suggests fumigants have very low long-term impact on soil health in potato fields

It started with curiosity. How does a fumigant, commonly used for nematode management in potato cropping systems, influence soil microbial communities? To explore this question, scientists at Colorado State University and Oregon State University used high-throughput sequencing techniques to investigate changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structure in response to the application of 1,3-Dichloropropene (1,3-D) in Pacific Northwest potato[Read More…]

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Researchers found that Phytophthora infestans has a virus accomplice

Descendants of the pathogen Phytophthora infestans may have had a “helping hand” in recent U.S. outbreaks of the costly blight disease, writes Jan Suszkiw of USDA ARS in the Fence Post. Reporting in the September 2019 issue of Virus Research, a team of Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University and Rutgers University scientists announced they had identified a virus that infects[Read More…]

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‘Edinburgh Potato’ used in fight against potato blight

A hybrid potato that is resistant to the crop-destroying fungus known as blight is being trailed as a potential saviour of some of the country’s best-known varieties of spud. The so-called “Edinburgh Potato” mixes domestic and wild Mexican breeds. There are fears it could wipe out family favourites such as King Edwards and Maris Pipers in the coming decades. Researchers[Read More…]

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Post-doc position: ‘Oomycete biology with impact’

Wageningen University is looking for a post-doc ‘Oomycete biology with impact’. Are you a connecting person who enjoys teaching? That’s our core too! Post-docs at the Laboratory of Phytopathology truly dedicate time to teaching, the Univ says in a release.. This comprises supervising MSc and PhD students as well as practical courses, and mentoring students performing mini-projects or assignments. Are[Read More…]

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Bayer ends sales of potato seed treatment Monceren

Bayer has stopped sales of the potato seed treatment Monceren (pencycuron) due to the ‘uncertain regulatory future’ of the product, Farmers Weekly reports. Sales of the fungicide have been ceased by the German chemical giant as it also looks at the potential consequences for potato crops treated with it. The Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for pencycuron is currently under review[Read More…]

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Potatoes and vitamins

Bob Larson reports for AgInfo. New studies here in the Northwest US are showing promise for fighting devastating diseases like Potato Virus Y, he says. From Oregon State University Hermiston Ag Research and Extension Center, professor Aymeric Goyer says it’s kind of like a person visiting the doctor to get vaccinated … GOYER … “So, it’s about the same principle[Read More…]

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Family of deadly crop viruses at the molecular level

For the first time, we can take a molecular-level look at one of the world’s deadliest crop killers. The Luteoviridae are pathogenic plant viruses responsible for major crop losses worldwide. Transmitted by aphids, the viruses infect a wide range of food crops including cereals, legumes, cucurbits, sugar beet, sugarcane, and potato. Until now researchers have been unable to generate the[Read More…]

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Do farmers really need neonic insecticides? Study sparks debate over pesticides’ future

New research has found a widely used and increasingly controversial insecticide has “negligible” benefits for commercially grown soybeans. Pesticide makers and farmers disagree. The insecticide, called neonicotinoid, has come under fire in recent years after scientists discovered it might be killing honey bees, monarch butterflies, certain birds and aquatic life. “We’ve documented the costs and the downsides of neonicotinoids,” said[Read More…]

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US researchers using advanced imaging to detect blight in potatoes

Researchers in the WARF Accelerator program are using advanced imaging technology to detect late blight in potatoes, which famously led to the Irish potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century.  In a recent interview, program manager Greg Keenan highlighted some of the top innovations getting investment support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Keenan has more than 20 years of industry[Read More…]

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Seed potato farmers in South Africa warned about resistant black dot disease

Seed potato growers attending the recent biannual Potatoes South Africa Seed Potato Growers’ Forum in Cape Town were warned about the potentially devastating effect that resistant black dot disease could have on the quality and quantity of their crops, Farmers Weekly magazine reports. Research conducted by Dr Leah Tsror of the Department of Plant Pathology at the Gilat Research Center[Read More…]

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Bayer ready for legal battle if EU bans glyphosate in 2022, company leadership says

Bayer’s top exec on pesticides suggested the agrichemical giant would consider legal action if the EU decides to ban the world’s most-used herbicide glyphosate in late 2022. Asked whether Bayer would seek to defend the safety of glyphosate in the courts, Crop Science Division President Liam Condon told Morning Agri: “If we feel a scientific process, an established regulatory pathway,[Read More…]

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US potato growers advised to watch for tuber moths

Its harvest time for many potato growers. Those not quite at that point will be harvesting before long.  And while many growers are thinking about getting those spuds in a storage shed, or off to the processor, Washington State University’s Tim Waters said growers need to continue to watch for pests.  According to Waters, pre-harvest insect pressures have been fairly[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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