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.
Brito FS, Santos JR, Azevedo VC, Peixouto YS, De Oliveira SA, Ferreira CF, Haddad F, Amorim EP, Fraaije BA & Miller RN (2020) Genetic diversity and azole fungicide sensitivity in Pseudocercospora musea field populations in Brazil. Frontiers in Microbiology 11, 99 (DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00099)
Carmody SM, King KM, Ocamb CM, Fraaije BA, West JS & du Toit LJ (2020) A phylogenetically distinct lineage of Pyrenopeziza brassicae associated with chlorotic leaf spot of Brassicaceae in North America. Plant Pathology 69, 518–537 (DOI: 10.111/ppa.13137
King KM, Hawkins NJ, Atkins SL, Dyer PS, West JS & Fraaije BA (2019) First application of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for rapid identification of mating type in the heterothallic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Mycoses 9, 812–817. (DOI: 10.1111/myc.12959)
Duan Y, Xiao X, Li T, Chen W,Wang J, Fraaije BA & M Zhou M (2018) Impact of epoxiconazole on Fusarium head blight control, grain yield and deoxynivalenol accumulation in wheat. Pesticide biochemistry and physiology 152, 138-147
Hawkins NJ & Fraaije BA (2018) Fitness penalties in the evolution of fungicide resistance. Annual Review of Phytopathology 56: 339-360.