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Black dot guide launched

10 September 2011

Years of AHDB Potatoes-funded research into black dot has been brought together and summarised in a new guide.  Based on research carried out by Scottish Agricultural College, SCRI, ADAS and Sutton Bridge Experimental Unit, it highlights the management factors associated with the disease.

Potatoes in Practice 2008 marked a milestone for control of the major skin disease black dot with the launch of a new guide.

Many years of research, carried out by SAC, SCRI, ADAS and at Sutton Bridge Experimental Unit have now been summarised into the easy-to-use guide, that was launched by AHDB Potatoes at the event.

Managing the risk of black dot gives practical advice to help control a disease that is tough to tackle, but increasingly the cause of costly rejections.

“Black dot has proven a real challenge to the industry because there are so many factors that contribute towards it as a problem, and you don’t know whether your management has been a success until well into the storage season,” explains SAC’s Stuart Wale who led the AHDB Potatoes-funded project.

“Recent research has brought major advances in our understanding and ability to predict this disease accurately and it’s time for growers to benefit.

“The beauty of this guide is that it meets the level of understanding any grower would need about black dot, from basic action points to the technical detail.”

Two AHDB Potatoes-funded projects in particular have fed into new material that has been summarised in the guide, a collaborative effort by some of the country’s top plant pathologists and industry experts.

The three-year original project was extended by one year in April 2007 to interpret the results of the PCR-based diagnostics assay, that detects the presence of the black dot pathogen.

The full report, Developing effective integrated control measures for the control of black dot, is available here.

Running alongside was a four-year diagnostics project led by SCRI’s Alison Lees, which was completed in March 2008 – see article from July’s Grower Gateway for details.

The black dot guide includes advice on diagnostics, now proving a winning way to assess risk of being affected by the disease.  It has been sent to all growers who supply the fresh market.

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