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Improved tools to rationalise and support stewardship programmes for SDHI fungicides to control cereal diseases in the UK (SA 575) - LK09133

This project will provide a scientific framework for sustainable use of the newly developed succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs) and their mixing partners to maintain or enhance cereal production in the UK. One SDHI product is already on the market and several others are about to be launched; these represent the next generation of antifungal chemistry to be used on a wide range of crops. Resistance to this class of fungicides has already been reported in some pathogens of horticultural crops, with cross resistance potentially affecting the whole group. Maintaining the efficacy of SDHIs is a priority given the continuing reliance on fungicide programmes for efficient production and the consequent threats posed by resistance development and the potential withdrawal of current actives due to imminent EU legislation (Directives 2000/60/EC and 91/414/EEC).

The project will initially focus on two major cereal diseases, Septoria leaf blotch in wheat and Rhynchosporium leaf scald in barley. Main research activities of the project are:

1. Characterisation and risk assessment studies of SDHI insensitive field isolates and lab-derived UV mutants.
2. Development of highly sensitive PCR-based genotyping assays for the detection of resistance conferring mutations
3. Measuring baseline sensitivity levels of pathogen populations in survey studies before and after fungicide applications.
4. Evaluating effectiveness of anti-resistance and/or disease management strategies in experimental and commercial field trials.

Published work and preliminary studies have already identified target-site mutations most likely to compromise the efficacy of this class of fungicides. Lab studies and monitoring of field populations will identify any new mutations posing a resistance risk. Early detection of resistant alleles at low frequencies, coupled with risk evaluation, will allow the implementation of optimum disease management strategies to prolong the cost-effectiveness and lifetime of this class of fungicides. The project will also monitor the efficacy of azoles and other mixing partners towards key cereal pathogens in order to support and further rationalise stewardship programmes for SDHI fungicides to ensure overall effective disease management.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2014

Cost: £549,604
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Syngenta Crop Protection UK Ltd, University - Scottish Agricultural College, BASF plc, ADAS UK Ltd., Velcourt Ltd, Velcourt Ltd (Farm Management), Bayer CropScience Ltd, Du Pont (UK) Ltd, Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), AHDB - HGCA