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R457 Seed Pathology and Storage

Publication Date: 
31 October 2011
Author/Contact :
Glyn Harper

Contractor :

Full Research Project Title: Improved store management of diseases affecting seed tubers and its effects on the subsequent crop
Duration: September 2011 - August 2012

Aim: To increase seed tuber health through improved management in store of diseases including Phoma, Fusarium and Helminthosporium species.

Industry Challenge

There are numerous pathogens which damage potato seed health, with significant economic and agronomic consequences. Seed disease impacts greatly on potential markets whereas an established reputation for healthy seed enables new business opportunities to be exploited.




Manipulation of storage conditions provides an opportunity to prevent multiplication or even reduce inoculum loading of both fungal and bacterial pathogens. The threshold inoculum loading on seed tubers required to induce disease in the field, and the contribution of seed storage conditions to disease risk in the subsequent crop, is understood for some pathogens but requires determination for other important pathogens.


a) Quantify the effect of varied storage management of seed potatoes on pathogen populations.
b) Quantify the effects of varied storage management on the subsequent crop health.
c) Establish a storage-field cycle baseline against which other or new threats, or changes to practice, can be compared experimentally.
d) Compare varied storage management and subsequent crop performance with commercial practice.
e) Determine effective integrated control strategies for maintaining good seed tuber health during storage.

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