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807/224 Erwinia Diagnostics

Publication Date: 
16 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Author/Contact: 
Ian Toth

Contractor :
Contractor: 
James Hutton Institute (JHI) (formerly SCRI)

Full Research Project Title: Application of recent developments in Erwinia diagnostics for a better understanding of the biology of seed stock contamination and blackleg control
Duration: January 2001 - October 2004

Aim: To investigate the effect of irrigation and level of Erwinia carotovora seed tuber contamination on physiological aging, seed decay, emergence, graded yield, blackleg and pathogen spread.

The project, undertaken by JHI, SAC and CUF, investigated the effect of irrigation and level of Eca seed tuber contamination on physiological aging, seed decay, emergence, graded yield, blackleg and pathogen spread. It also evaluated the potential of a PCR-based diagnostic for commercial use.

In general, the level of seed tuber contamination had little effect on crop growth, yield or tuber number. Blackleg differed between seed contamination level and irrigation level. The rate and final level of blackleg development and the level of daughter tuber contamination were proportional to the Eca level on the seed. The effect of irrigation on blackleg development was greater in the south, probably due to a drier environment. On some occasions over-irrigation resulted in greater blackleg development. 

The diagnostic tool was found to work well as a possible replacement for plating methods. Further work on disease risk assessement using PCR-based diagnostics was carried out in project R253.

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