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Clubroot control using novel and sustainable methods - HH3227TFV

The main objective of this project is to develop novel control measures for clubroot of vegetable brassicas. This proposal provides a structured programme of work designed to produce practical guidelines for control of the disease, incorporating new approaches and appropriate existing control measures. Novel treatments applied to soils, composts and transplants will be investigated. Treatments are targeted at different parts of the life-cycle of clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) and aim to protect plant roots and reduce soil inoculum levels. Glasshouse experiments will be used to screen a diverse range of treatments initially. Microplot experiments will be used to define the time-course of treatment activity. Promising novel treatments will be investigated further to optimise their performance and then tested under field conditions. The approach is based mainly on exploitation of microbial activity to suppress or eliminate soil-borne inoculum. Additional support for growers and propagators will be provided through the use of specific rapid diagnostic tests. There is strong industry support for this project and technology transfer through publications and grower meetings will be undertaken throughout the project.

These objectives are consistent with DEFRA’s aim to promote a sustainable UK horticultural industry by reducing crop losses and disease infestation of soils, whilst providing new approaches to reduce pesticide inputs and minimising the environmental impacts which are often associated with vegetable production. A successful project is expected to produce benefits to the industry of at least £5 million/annum.

The overall objective is to develop a practical and sustainable approach to clubroot control of vegetable brassica crops. The specific objectives to achieve this are:

1. To identify during Years 1 and 2 the activity of compost and transplant treatments against clubroot in glasshouse studies and to identify any phytotoxic effects that would make them unsuitable for further development in field trials.
2. To identify the long-term effects (Years 2-4) of growing media amendments on the survival of clubroot inoculum in the soil and their effects on non-target weeds, pests or diseases.
3. To determine the effectiveness of novel and selected standard treatments against clubroot and identify yield and quality benefits under field conditions (Years 2-4).
4. Investigate the predictive accuracy of PCR primers in terms of disease diagnosis and quantifying the level of disease infestation in the soil.

5. To promote improved management of clubroot (Technology Transfer, Years 1-4).
Project Documents
• Annual Report : Clubroot control using novel and sustainable methods   (162k)
• Annual Report : Clubroot control using novel and sustainable methods - appendix to annual report   (45k)
• Final Report - Annex : Clubroot control using novel and sustainable methods   (2064k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2007

Cost: £181,003
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Scottish Agricultural College, ADAS UK Ltd.
Biological Control              
Plant diseases              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study