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The Manipulation of Host Plant Defences by the Late Blight Pathogen Phytophthora infestans

28.03.10 Age: 54 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

PhD Opportunity in UK

Find A PhD is a guide to current postgraduate research and PhD studentships. Its database lists details of graduate research programmes from universities throughout the UK, Europe and further afield.

One of their calls come from the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee (UK).

Plants, like animals, have a sophisticated immune system that is triggered by surface receptor-mediated recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Successful pathogens suppress these defence responses by the secretion of virulence determinants known as effectors. P. infestans secretes and translocates effectors inside the host cell by means of a conserved motif (RXLR-EER) in the N-terminus of these proteins. Selected RXLR-EER-containing effectors will be screened using yeast-2-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation to identify host defence proteins that they target and manipulate to establish infection. Various biochemical, molecular and cell biological approaches will be used to investigate the roles that host target proteins play in plant defence, and to visualise these protein-protein interactions as they occur during infection.

Applications accepted all year round

Links:

The manipulation of host plant defences by the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans

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Next European Potato Late Blight Worshop

01.04.10 Age: 49 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Draft program

Please find the draft scientific program for the Arras Workshop here

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Dutch and German Leaflets Now Online

01.02.10 Age: 109 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

ENDURE (Late Blight)

Whether you know them as Kartoffel, aardappels or pommes de terre, growing potatoes is not a simple business, not least because of the potential threat posed by late blight, the potentially devastating disease caused by the pseudo-fungus Phytophthora infestans.

ENDURE's Potato Case Study team estimated that the combined worldwide cost of crop losses and treatments (mainly fungicides) for late blight is a staggering €4 billion per year, half of this cost incurred in Europe alone, making the disease the focus for their research.

The result of their study was a series of four guides in the From Science to Field series, leaflets containing scientifically sound, practical advice for agricultural advisers and farmers. Now these potato-based leaflets are available in four different languages, and you can download them below:


Links:
Dutch and German leaflets now online

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A New Strain of Potato Blight Has Been Detected in Ireland

10.02.10 Age: 100 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

According to The Teagasc-IFA National Potato Conference

First detected in Co Down in 2007, the so-called "Blue 13" strain has moved down along the east coast.

It is also spreading, though less dramatically, in Co Donegal. But it has not been found in potato growing areas of Co Cork.

Last summer, the exceptionally wet weather combined with late planting resulted in ideal blight conditions.

Steven Kildea and Denis Griffin, from Teagasc Crops Research Centre, Oakpark, Co Carlow, pointed out in a paper presented to the conference that potato blight has the potential to inflict serious yield reductions.

 

Links:
A NEW strain of potato blight has been detected in Ireland, the Teagasc-IFA national potato conference was told yesterday

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Britain's Plans for Trials of a Blight Resistant GM Potato

16.02.10 Age: 94 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

United Kingdom

Scientists in Norfolk hope to start field trials in May of a genetically modified potato resistant to blight if they can get government approval. Scientists at the John Innes Centre have identified two genes from a wild variety which can resist the disease. Following vandalism of GM crops at the site, £20,000 has been spent on a security fence and cameras. If government department Defra approves the proposal, a three-year field trial will start in May - with the first results expected to be announced by the end of the year.

Links:

Plans for trials of a blight resistant GM potato

 

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A Collaborative Breeding Strategy for Organic Potatoes in the Netherlands

23.02.10 Age: 87 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Ecology & Farming, February 2010

The ability of the organic farmer's agronomic toolbox to reduce the susceptibility of a potato crop to late blight is limited, certainly under the Dutch climatic conditions. Conventional breeding programs do not generate either a sufficient number nor appropriate types of resistant varieties for organic systems; and a separate breeding program for the limited area of organic potato production is simply not viable. Therefore, all concerned forces have joined together in an umbrella program called Bioimpuls for organic potato improvement.

Links:

A Collaborative Breeding Strategy for Organic Potatoes in the Netherlands

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J.R. Simplot Inks Pact to Develop Late Blight-Resistant Spuds

26.02.10 Age: 84 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

United Kingdom

Plant Biosciences Limited, based in Norwich, United Kingdom, has signed an agreement with the Boise, Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. to develop late blight resistant potatoes.

Jonathan Jones, a reseacher at PBL's Sainsbury Laboratory, isolated the late blight-resistant gene along with colleagues at Wageningen University in Wageningen, The Netherlands,according to a news release.

The gene was identified in a wild potato species, Solanum berthaltii, and researchers say it could be introduced into commercial cultivars for durable resistance to Phytophthora infestans, the organsm responsible for late blight.

Under the agreement, PBL will license the trait to J.R. Simplot.

Source: The Grower - February 24, 2010

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Blight-resistant Spuds Could Lower Carbon Levels

12.01.10 Age: 128 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

According to the Elm Farm Organic Producer conference

Using blight-resistant varieties of potato could reduce the carbon dioxide footprint from the sector by as much as 40%, research director David Shaw of Wales Sarvari Research Trust told delegates at the Elm Farm Organic Producer conference.

Links:

Elm Farm 2010: Blight-resistant spuds could lower carbon levels
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Fungicide Comparison Table Updated on 15 January

17.01.10 Age: 124 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Euroblight

The fungicide comparison table was updated on 15 January 2010 with new data regarding leaf blight. The new scores are based on the results in the report: Fungicide evaluation to rate efficacy to control leaf late blight for the Euroblight table - Results 2006 - 2009, available from the site.

Links:
Fungicide comparison table updated on 15 January

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Potato Production Hampered by Late Blight Outbreak

20.01.10 Age: 121 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Bangladesh

Potato production in the northern region of Bangladesh has been hit hard as large numbers of potato fields were attacked by potato blight. Field reports received from eight districts of the region said that the disease has damaged potato crops causing massive losses to the farmers. Agriculturists blame the outbreak on dense fog and cloudy weather on and off in January, as well as the planting of low quality seeds in some areas. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said that a target was set to bring 150,344 hectares of land under potato cultivation in eight districts of the region, including Rangpur and Dinajpur with an output target of 24,80,676 metric tons. It now seems that this target will not be reached. Farmers said potato prices have fallen sharply due to huge supplies in local markets as the disease forced farmers to untimely harvest their potato crops. They said they were incurring huge losses due to the outbreak of the potato blight.

Links:

Bangladesh: Potato production in northern Bangladesh hampered by late blight outbreak

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Potato Late Blight Disease Cycle

24.01.10 Age: 117 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Graphic

Michigan State University published an article at January 2009 titled "Potato late blight alert for the Midwest". This article include a graphic that show the potato late blight disease cycle (see at the bottom of the text)

 

Links:

Potato late blight alert for the Midwest
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Small Farm Risk-Management Workshop: Winter Series

28.01.10 Age: 112 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

University of New Hampshire

February 10: Organic Producers' Workshop: Focus on Season Extension, Farm Planning, and Disease Management. Presentations include High Tunnels and Other Season Extenders, Winter Production, Farm Planning and Evaluating Profitability, and Organic Management of Late Blight and Other Diseases.

Links:

Small Farm Risk-Management Workshops: Winter Series

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New Blight Fungicide in Development

01.12.09 Age: 171 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

British Potato 09

BASF is developing a new potato blight fungicide, which it hopes will receive registration in the next two years.

Links:
British Potato 09: New blight fungicide in development

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2009 Catalogue of Potato Varieties and Advanced Clones

14.12.09 Age: 158 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

International Potato Center

The International Potato Center (CIP) just released its first CD Catalogue of Potato Varieties and Advanced Clones. Now, breeders, researchers, and producers can browse an online/CD catalogue, describing 170 advanced clones and 25 varieties developed at CIP, all of which are currently available for worldwide distribution. "We set the bar quite high for the catalogue," says CIP Potato Breeder Dr. Stefan de Haan. "We included genetic fingerprints and nutritional data together with more standard quantitative and qualitative information about resistance, adaptation, and yield, for example." CIP improved potato varieties make a significant difference to resource poor farmers all over the world, providing material that is healthy, productive, and adaptable to local conditions and market demand.

Links:
Diversity on Display : 2009 Catalogue of Potato Varieties and Advanced Clones

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Organic Late Blight Management Webinar by eOrganic

19.12.09 Age: 153 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

Video

Late blight is a serious disease of potato and tomato family (Solanaceous) crops worldwide that can be difficult to control organically. Join eOrganic presenters Dr. Sally Miller of Ohio State University, Dr. Meg McGrath of Cornell University, and Dr. Alex Stone of Oregon State University to learn about the 2009 epidemic and how to diagnose, prevent, and manage late blight on organic farms.

Links:

Organic Late Blight Management Webinar by eOrganic

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