News, events, articles
BCPC Symposium: Seed Production and Treatment in a Changing Environment
24-25 Feb 2009
Since the third BCPC 2001 Symposium on seed health and treatment, there has been more information available on the technology of treatment, the interpretation of seed testing, the technology of seed testing and sampling of seeds and production methods which lessen the risk of pest or pathogen attack. This Symposium will examine these developments as well as the effects of current and future legislation both in the UK and Europe.
12 Jul 2008
Several adults and pupae of a large and unusual ladybird were recently spotted in a Warwick garden. It turns out that this is an alien species to the UK - the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) which has been spreading north and west since its first sighting in 2004 in the South East. A native of Asia and introduced as a biological control agent, it is the most invasive ladybird on earth.
01 Jun 2008
Plant health solutions has recently invested in a new Watchdog 2000 series weather station, from the US manufacturer Spectrum Technologies. The station was supplied by UK importer Enviromonitors and comes pre-configured and ready to go. It will be used to provide accurate records of environmental data during field trials.
Managing Xanthomonas black rot in brassicas - New Project
08 Nov 2007
HDC is funding Plant Health Solutions to look at the potential of several biological treatments and disinfectants for use in the management of black rot on vegetable brassicas. Black rot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) continues to cause sporadic problems in brassica production. The disease is seedborne, so control is mainly through the use of ï¿½cleanï¿½ seed. Building on the results of an earlier EC-funded project (STOVE) which identified biological control agents and a natural product with activity against Xcc, and using methods developed in previous Defra-funded projects, these BCAï¿½s and the natural product will be investigated for their potential as either seed and/or foliar treatments for the management of black rot in vegetable brassicas. Additional disinfectant compounds identified in a previous HDC project (FV 314) will also be evaluated.
New project - lettuce bacterial diseases review
20 Oct 2007
Bacterial breakdown has been causing severe problems in outdoor crisphead lettuce for the last couple of years. As a first step in tackling the problem HDC is funding Plant Health Solutions to review the existing literature prior to committing funds to any experimental work. Several bacteria (Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas) are known to cause disease on lettuce. Symptoms of the most recent outbreaks are consistent with varnish spot caused by Pseudomonas cichorii. The review represents the first stage of what is envisaged as a three-stage project. Subsequent stages will be targeted at identifying the causal organisms, and epidemiology and control studies.
New herbs disease project
01 May 2007
HDC has agreed funding for a new project to look at control of two seedborne diseases of herbs: leaf spot on parsley (Septoria petroselini) and bacterial leaf blight on coriander (Pseudomonas syringae pv. coriandricola). The project, a collaboration between Plant Health Solutions and ADAS, aims to improve understanding of the relationships between seed infection levels and disease development . Options for seed treatment and disease controls in the field will also be examined to provide integrated strategies for disease management.
08 Mar 2007
A new paper by Vicente & Roberts on bacterial canker of cherry has been published in the European Journal of Plant Pathology and can now be accessed on-line. Bacterial canker is one of the most important diseases of cherries and is caused by two pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae. Molecular fingerprints of 87 isolates were compared and could distinguish between pvs. syringae and morsprunorum and and between races within pv. morsprunorum.
04 Mar 2007
Report: ISTA / APSA / FAO Training Course in Seed Health Testing BPI-NSQCS, Quezon City, Philippines. Steve Roberts gives a brief account of a course designed to provide participants with skills and knowledge to improve the standardisation and reliability of seed health testing in the Asia-Pacific Region.
05 Jan 2007
Contamination of brassica transplants with black rot (Xanthomonas) can reach nearly 100% after six weeks with overhead gantry irrigation within 50 plants distance from a single primary infector, according to a new paper published in the journal Plant Pathology. The paper describes a series of experiments to quantify the rate of dispersal of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in module-raised brassica transplants, in a simulated commercial plant-raising system.The full text is now available in Plant Pathology Online Early.
Organic Seed Issues Highlighted at Organic Variety Day
28 Nov 2006
The use of clean seed is important for the management of many plant diseases, but, with few options for control in the field, seed health standards need to be more stringent for organic production. Steve Roberts, in his presentation at the HDRA / NIAB Organic Vegetable Variety Day at Ryton Organic Gardens, 28th Nov 2006, reported the latest results from the EC-funded STOVE project and highlighted some of the problems in achieving effective standards.