NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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NEWS: Pathogen virulence monitoring comes from the ground up, says UKCPVS

28 April 2015

The UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) is calling for the industry to monitor cereal crops and send in diseased samples for analysis.

Managed by NIAB, and funded by HGCA and Fera, the UKCPVS tracks potential shifts in UK pathogen populations, identifying areas of concern – particularly potential breakdown in varietal disease resistance.

Dr Sarah Holdgate, UKCPVS project manager based at NIAB, said: “Our success relies on infected wheat and barley leaf samples sent in by growers, agronomists, plant breeders and official trials operators.

“May, June and July is the peak period for sampling and infected leaf material gathered from across the UK gives the team the pathogen isolates needed for robust testing.

“The more samples we receive, the more chance we have to detect an issue before it becomes an established problem giving growers more time to act in the season and plant breeders more time to adapt their variety selection processes.”

The request follows the release of UKCPVS results in March which showed cereal rust populations in the UK have become increasingly diverse – affecting varieties in different, and often unpredictable, ways.

Disease sampling in 2015

Leaves showing signs of wheat yellow rust, brown rust and powdery mildew, as well as barley powdery mildew, are being requested.

Typical crop disease symptoms can be seen in the photo gallery on the recently refreshed Cereal Disease Encyclopaedia.

Samples can be taken from any variety but varieties noted as resistant to the disease are of particular interest.

Simple sampling guidelines have been developed which should be followed to ensure samples reach the FREEPOST UKCPVS address in the best possible condition.

Source of press release