Dr Bart Fraaije

Programme leader - disease control

Bart's role at NIAB includes research into new crop protection tools, fungicide resistance monitoring and developing optimal disease control programmes for fungal pathogens on cereals and other crops.

He works with NIAB plant breeders, wheat growers and the agrochemical industry on key diseases of wheat and barley, assessing fungicide performance and resistance development in both the laboratory setting and in the field. Combining the latest knowledge on disease epidemics, fungicide sensitivity monitoring and host resistance will further advance the Institute’s work collaborating with industry and research partners to deliver the best IPM strategies onto the farm.

Bart joined NIAB in June 2020 from Rothamsted Research where he led the Fungicide Research Group. He pioneered research on the evolution of cereal fungal pathogens, particularly the detection and characterisation of resistance to benzimidazole, azoles or demethylation inhibitor (DMI), quinone outside inhibitor (QoIs) and succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicides. Using Zymoseptoria tritici (Septoria leaf blotch) as model, his group defined mechanisms underlying resistance to azole fungicides, including overexpression due to a promoter insert and alterations in the target protein sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51). He recently completed projects funded by CropLife and NERC investigating the spread of azole resistance in environmental populations of Aspergillus fumigatus.

At NIAB, he continues to work on fungicide sensitivity testing and resistance monitoring as part of projects funded by AHDB and the agrochemical industry. As PI, he is working on ‘Novel real-time disease surveillance and fungicide resistance monitoring tools to foster a smart and sustainable crop protection platform in Brazil’ funded by the Newton Fund as part of the BBSRC-FAPESP award scheme for antimicrobial resistance and insect pest resistance in livestock and agriculture with Swansea University and UNESP as research partners.

He has supervised 10 PhD students, published over 60 publications in refereed journals (including PNAS), the majority on fungicide resistance, and is currently an associate editor of Phytopathology. As a member of the UK fungicide resistance action group (FRAG-UK), he contributes to a forum discussing and promoting practical guidance on the status and management of fungicide resistance issues in the UK.


Recent publications

Poloni NM, Carvalho G, Vicentini SNC, Dorigan AF, Maciel JLN, McDonald BA, Moreira SI, Hawkins N, Fraaije BA, Kelly DE, Kelly SL & Ceresini PC (2021) Widespread distribution of resistance to triazole fungicides in Brazilian populations of the wheat blast pathogen. Plant Pathology 70, 436-448.

King KM, Eyres GJ, West JS, Siraf C, Matusinsky P, Palicová J, Canning GGM, Bateman GL, Fraaije BA & Dyer PS (2021) Novel multiplex and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for rapid species and mating-type identification in Oculimacula acuformis and O. yallundae (causal agents of eyespot disease of cereals) applied to air and plant environmental samples. Phytopathology

Fraaije BA, Atkins S, Hanley S, McDonald A & Lucas JA (2020). The multi-fungicide resistance status of Aspergillus fumigatus populations in arable soils and the wider European environment. Frontiers in Microbiology 11, 599233.

Santos RF, Fraaije BA, Garrido L, Monteiro‐Vitorello CB & Amorim L (2020). Multiple resistance of Plasmopara viticola to QoI and CAA fungicides in Brazil. Plant Pathology 69, 1708-1720. 

Santos RF, Ciampi-Guillardi M, Fraaije BA, de Oliveira AA & Amorim L (2020). The climate-driven genetic diversity has a higher Impact on the population structure of Plasmopara viticola than the production system or QoI fungicide sensitivity in subtropical Brazil. Frontiers in Microbiology 11, 575045. 

Stephens C, Ölmez F, Blyth H, McDonald M, Bansal A, Burcu Turgay E, Hahn F, Saintenac C, Nekrasov V, Solomon P, Milgate A, Fraaije B, Rudd J & Kanyuka K (2020). Remarkable recent changes in genetic diversity of the avirulence gene AvrStb6 in global populations of the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. bioRxiv.

Verweij PE, Lucas JA, Arendrup MC, Bowyer P, Brinkmann AJG, Denning DW, Dyer PS, Fisher MC, Geenen IP, Gisi U, Hermann D, Hoogendijk A, Kiers E, Lagrou K, Melchers WJG, Rhodes J, Rietveld AG, Schoustra SE, Stenzel K, Zwaan BJ & Fraaije BA (2020). The one health problem of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: current insights and future research agenda. Fungal Biology Reviews 34, 202-214.

Full publication list on Google Scholar and Research Gate