Pests and Diseases

US approves three GMO potato varieties that can be grown and sold in retail outlets

Note to readers: This article was first published in February 2017 with authorization of Simplot Company Ltd, and the abstract below is a re-print of the original article. Editor, Potato News Today Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist late blight are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials in the US have reportedly announced last[Read More…]

Viewpoint: Science denialism threatens the potential of gene-edited crops

The genetic revolution being ushered in by gene-editing promises to markedly improve our crops by making them resistant to drought, disease and insects, and by enhancing their nutritional content. At first blush, it might appear that foods engineered to address some of our nagging health issues would be widely embraced. Not so for the organizations that have demonized other GM[Read More…]

James Hutton Institute: Boosting potato breeding for PCN resistance by application of modern technologies

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN), and the species of Globodera pallida in particular, have been spreading steadily across the UK over the past recent decades, posing significant threats to the sustainability of the potato industry, especially the seed potato industry, in Scotland. Despite both statutory and agronomic counter measures (primarily rotations and the use of nematicides) that have been taken, the increasing prevalence[Read More…]

New tool to detect blackleg disease in potato has widespread application

Potatoes are important. They rank fourth among the world’s staple crops. In the United States, they are grown commercially in 30 states and valued at $4 billion annually. Potatoes are also susceptible to 160 different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases, such as blackleg and soft rot diseases, which are caused by the bacterium Dickeya dianthicola. In 2015, an aggressive outbreak of[Read More…]

UK: Nematicide Stewardship Programme recognised with a new gong at potato awards

THE potato industry’s efforts to husband the use of nematicides has been recognised with a major new award. The Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) has been given a pat on the back by receiving an environmental award at the first ever National Potato Industry Awards, held in Harrogate. Patrick Mitton, chair of the group, said there has been considerable commitment to[Read More…]

Biodegradable spray helps battle crop pathogens

A new sprayable bioplastic—made of cornstarch and other natural ingredients—offers potential as an effective method for delivering beneficial microbes to fight aflatoxins and other agricultural pathogens and pests. Aflatoxins are highly toxic substances produced by many species of Aspergillus fungi. Aflatoxins can contaminate corn, peanuts, cotton, and other crops, and at high doses they threaten the health of people, pets, fish, livestock,[Read More…]

Research: A quick and efficient hydroponic potato infection method for evaluating potato resistance and Ralstonia solanacearum virulence

Researchers say that potato, the third most important crop worldwide, plays a critical role in human food security. But, brown rot, one of the most destructive potato diseases caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, results in huge economic losses every year. A quick, stable, low cost and high throughout method is required to meet the demands of identification of germplasm resistance to bacterial[Read More…]

Western Innovator: Aiding the fight against pink rot

Research by Jeff Miller, principal in Miller Research near Rupert, Idaho and other scientists is providing potato growers with more tools to use in controlling pink rot. The soil-borne disease is caused mainly by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica. It infects potato roots, stolons and tubers, and if not controlled can lead to significant losses in potato fields and in storage..[Read More…]

‘A polerovirus, Potato Leafroll virus, alters plant‐vector interactions using three viral proteins’

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/pce.13684. Authors: MacKenzie F. PattonAurélie BakJordan SayreMichelle HeckClare L. Casteel Abstract: Potato leafroll virus (PLRV), genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae, is[Read More…]

US: Potato virus Y is the most serious threat to potatoes

Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most serious problem facing the potato industry in the United States and is the main cause for rejection of seed potato lots. The virus affects potatoes in two ways: It reduces the yield of potato tubers by 70-80% and also negatively affects the quality of the remaining tubers due to necrotic reactions. PVY encompasses a[Read More…]

Spore monitoring program helps Idaho farmers contain potato late blight

The Paul-area late blight outbreak wasn’t much of a story among the state’s potato farmers in 2019. University of Idaho Extension researchers say that fact may be due largely to their new network of 15 spore trappers, strategically placed near Idaho farm fields from Parma through Tetonia, according to a report by Idaho State Journal. The network — intended to[Read More…]

Scottish potato industry unites to tackle pest threat

Farmers and growers are joining forces to tackle a threat which some fear could wipe out the Scottish potato industry by 2025. Experts have warned about the potential impact of the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN). According to a BBC report, the amount of land affected in Scotland has been doubling every six or seven years, and researchers fear[Read More…]

Research suggests fumigants have very low long-term impact on soil health in potato fields

It started with curiosity. How does a fumigant, commonly used for nematode management in potato cropping systems, influence soil microbial communities? To explore this question, scientists at Colorado State University and Oregon State University used high-throughput sequencing techniques to investigate changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structure in response to the application of 1,3-Dichloropropene (1,3-D) in Pacific Northwest potato[Read More…]

Researchers found that Phytophthora infestans has a virus accomplice

Descendants of the pathogen Phytophthora infestans may have had a “helping hand” in recent U.S. outbreaks of the costly blight disease, writes Jan Suszkiw of USDA ARS in the Fence Post. Reporting in the September 2019 issue of Virus Research, a team of Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University and Rutgers University scientists announced they had identified a virus that infects[Read More…]

‘Edinburgh Potato’ used in fight against potato blight

A hybrid potato that is resistant to the crop-destroying fungus known as blight is being trailed as a potential saviour of some of the country’s best-known varieties of spud. The so-called “Edinburgh Potato” mixes domestic and wild Mexican breeds. There are fears it could wipe out family favourites such as King Edwards and Maris Pipers in the coming decades. Researchers[Read More…]

Post-doc position: ‘Oomycete biology with impact’

Wageningen University is looking for a post-doc ‘Oomycete biology with impact’. Are you a connecting person who enjoys teaching? That’s our core too! Post-docs at the Laboratory of Phytopathology truly dedicate time to teaching, the Univ says in a release.. This comprises supervising MSc and PhD students as well as practical courses, and mentoring students performing mini-projects or assignments. Are[Read More…]

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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