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Epidemeology & control of verticillium wilt in protected crops - HH3222SPC

Verticillium wilt has become an increasing problem in tomato varieties that previously showed excellent resistance to the disease. Isolates of V. albo-atrum capable of overcoming the Ve-resistance gene were recently confirmed in UK crops. The objective of the work proposed here is to develop a specific molecular assay for rapid and sensitive detection of the fungus; to distinguish isolates aggressive on Ve-resistant tomato from other isolates of V. albo-atrum at a molecular level; to investigate the effect of inoculum level and plant age on symptom expression, and to investigate the potential for disease suppression by manipulating the resident rhizosphere microflora. This work is relevant to DEFRA's policy objectives of sustainable crop production and minimising pesticide application, as the disease is a major threat to the long-term viability of the UK tomato industry, and correct identification of the disease and understanding of its epidemiology is essential for rational pesticide use. The results will be used to underpin an HDC project, that is directed at developing a sustainable control strategy which reduces the risk of wilt through a better understanding of disease sources and symptom expression.
1. To develop quantitative PCR methods for assaying levels of Verticillium in plant and soil samples to enable sources of infection on tomato nurseries to be identified, and colonisation of tomato roots and stems of susceptible and resistant cultivars and rootstocks to be determined.
2. To determine the effect of V. albo-atrum inoculum level and plant age on the expression of Verticillium wilt symptoms in tomato.
3. To investigate the potential for micro-organisms naturally present in the tomato root rhizosphere to suppress development of Verticillium wilt in tomato.
4. To characterise isolates of V. albo-atrum by molecular methods such that new isolates aggressive on Ve-resistant cultivars are distinguished from non-aggressive isolates.
5. To determine the pathogenicity to Ve-resistant tomatoes of Greek and Spanish isolates of V. albo-atrum (collected during HH3211SPC).
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final report   (338k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2006

Cost: £421,236
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI, Horticulture Research International, ADAS UK Ltd.
Allocated - WHRI              
Biological Control              
Disease Control              
Organic Farming              
Protected Cropping              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study