Thu, 23 November 2017

Previous Projects

Previous projects undertaken by Plant Health Solutions or its director, Dr Steve Roberts.

Relationship between disease incidence in stored bulb onions and first year sets

2011 - 2012

There is a perception that the risk of certain onion diseases may be increased when crops are grown from sets. The major diseases of concern to the industry are: bacterial rots thought to be caused mainly by Burkholderia gladioli pv. alliicola (Bga; particularly in heat-treated red Rijnsburger type onions), neck rot caused primarily by Botrytis aclada/allii and Fusarium basal rot caused by Fusarium oxysporum fsp. cepae. One possibility is that the necessary heat treatment of some cultivars may lead to increased risk of disease. This project represents a first step to address these issues by determining the incidence of the major bacterial and fungal onion pathogens thought to be associated with sets of different types and establish if there is a relationship between disease incidence in sets and subsequent problems in the harvested bulb onion crop. It is anticipated that, based on these initial results, a follow-on project will investigate way of reducing the impact of any disease problems associated with sets.

Funded by: AHDB - Horticulture

Disease management in organic brassica seed and transplants

2009 - 2011

The project aims to evaluate a range of organically acceptable brassica seed and transplant treatments for their efficacy and cost effectiveness in controlling a range of common soil, seed and air-borne diseases. The treatments tested will include microbial inoculants and suppressive composts that are currently available for use in the EU. The work will benefit both organic and conventional plant raisers and growers by exploring alternative options for disease management that reduce disease levels and improve the quality of brassica transplants. The project will be a collaboration between Warwick HRI, Plant Health Solutions and Garden Organic (HDRA).

Funded by: AHDB - Horticulture

Outdoor herbs: Integrated management of parsley septoria and coriander bacterial blight

2007 - 2010

This project, a collaboration between Plant Health Solutions and ADAS, aims to improve understanding of the relationships between seed infection levels and disease development in two seedborne diseases of herbs: leaf spot on parsley (Septoria petroselini) and bacterial leaf blight on coriander (Pseudomonas syringae pv. coriandricola). Options for seed treatment and disease controls in the field will also be examined to provide integrated strategies for disease management.

Funded by: HDC

Evaluation of disinfectants, biological and natural products for control of brassica black rot

2008 - 2009

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 'clean' 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 BCA?s 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.

Funded by: HDC

A review of the literature on bacterial diseases of lettuce

2007 - 2008

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.

Funded by: HDC

Onion downy mildew and leaf wax continuation

2006 - 2007

This project , in collaboration with VCS, is examing the role of cuticular leaf wax in the natural resistance of onions to downy mildew caused by the oomycete pathogen Peronospora destructor. HDC Project No. FV277a

Funded by: HDC

To understand the interactions of leaf wax and downy mildew in onions

2005 - 2006

Funded by: HDC

Seed treatments for organic vegetable production

2004 - 2006

Funded by: EC

Promotion of quality vegetable seed in Kenya

2003 - 2005

This project aims to promote a sustainable system for farmer-led multiplication of kale seed for peri-urban smallholder farmers in Kenya, in order to improve the quality, health and availability of kale seed. Also, the concept and value of producing or purchasing good quality seed will be promoted.

Funded by: DfID

Evaluation of novel sterilants and active ingredients for the control of fungal and bacterial diseases in bulb onions

2004 - 2005

In this project, led by VCS, the efficacy of sterilants and novel products for the control of both fungal and bacterial onion foliage and bulb diseases will be examined in field trials at two sites. HDC Project No. FV 264.

Funded by: HDC

Evaluation of seed treatments

2004 - 2005

Funded by: Germains

New techniques for genetic improvement of horticultural brassicas

1999 - 2004

A large collaborative project

Funded by: DEFRA

Bacterial pathogen epidemiology using lux/gfp markers

2001 - 2004

Bioluminescent marker genes (lux) were introduced into strains of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. The marked strains spontaneously emit light when metabolically active which allows them to be tracked in real time using a sensitive CCD camera system. Spread of the lux-marked strains was then followed non-destructively in brassica plants from inoculated seeds to mature flowering plants and pods.

Funded by: DEFRA

Effect of the composting process on particular plant, animal and human pathogens known to be of concern for high quality

2002 - 2004

This project, in collaboration with Prof. Ralph Noble at HRI, examined the risks of transmission of plant and human pathogens in composted green waste, by reviewing the existing scientific literature and experiments with selected pathogens.

Funded by: WRAP

HNS 91 Bacterial diseases of HNS: chemical control

2000 - 2002

Funded by: HDC

Black rot of Brassicas: Epidemiology

1998 - 2002

Examined spread of Xanthomonas campestris pv campestris in module-raised brassica transplants and in transplanted field crops

Funded by: MAFF

Improving the quality of salad products

1998 - 2002

In collaboration with commercial partners and IFR, this project examined factors influencing discoloration of pre-packed cut lettuce.

Funded by: HortLink (Defra)

Bacterial Canker of Cherry (Prunus avium): biology, epidemiology, resistance

1999 - 2002

This project was concerned with the only two practical approaches to controlling bacterial canker in farm woodland cherries: disease avoidance and disease resistance. ?Both of these approaches had been limited by a lack of understanding of the pathogen and a lack of reliable and consistent methods. The project aimed to improve understanding of the pathogen, its taxonomy and variation and develop improved methods for detection and discrimination. This was a necessary prerequisite for studies on the epidemiology of this disease in farm woodland cherries to identify the most important sources of infection and for the development and application of improved methods for disease resistance screening.

Funded by: DEFRA

Organic Seed Production

1999 - 2002

This project examined the feasibility and problems associated with production of seed of a range of vegetable crops according to organic standards

Funded by: DEFRA

Disinfectants for salad washing

2001 - 2002

Commercial

Funded by: Degussa

HNS 92? Hedera: Biology and Epidemiology of Xanthomonas leaf spot

1998 - 2001

Funded by: HDC

Spear rot of Calabrese

1998 - 2001

Previous work had shown that the primary causal agent was a Group IV Pseudomonas, an organism with pectolytic (soft-rot) enzymes and biosurfactant properties. This project aimed to: (1) make a molecular characterisation of Group IV Pseudomonas and develop a specific and sensitive detection procedure based on a selective/diagnostic medium linked to serological and/or molecular identification systems; (2) test the hypothesis that Group IV Pseudomonas, the causal agent of spear rot, is seed transmitted and that the pathogen has an epiphytic stage before disease expression; (3) develop a control strategy based on disease avoidance through the use of clean seed, monitored by a specific and sensitive detection procedure; (4) make observations on the possible relationship between spear rot and brown bud symptoms in cv Marathon

Funded by: MAFF

Extraction methods for Xanthomonas

2000 - 2001

Comparison of methods for extraction of Xanthomonas from brassica seeds

Funded by: ISHI-Veg

FV 186a Brassicas: use of copper spray to control Black Rot during transplant production

1999 - 2000

Glasshouse trials with weekly applications of copper oxychloride

Funded by: HDC

Reference Materials for seed health testing

1996 - 1999

In collaboration with researchers at Wageningen, this project developed standardised reference materials for use in seed health testing. Standardised reference materials are stabilised microbial preparations containing a known number of organisms. Such materials are vital for successful and efficient seed test method validation and proficiency testing and can perform an important role in any test QA system.

Funded by: EC

Aetiology and control of bacterial leaf spot of cherry laurel

1995 - 1998

Funded by: MAFF

Vegetable diseases of unknown aetiology

1995 - 1998

Funded by: MAFF

Brassicas: Development of a Screening System to detect Xanthomonas campestris in seed and evaluation of pathogen resista

1995 - 1998

Funded by: HDC

Enhanced degradation of pesticides

1994 - 1997

Funded by: MAFF

Hardy Nursery Stock: Bacterial Diseases (HNS 71)

1996 - 1996

Commercial nurseries were surveyed for the presence of suspected bacterial diseases. Disease samples were collected and isolations attempted to confirm the presence of the suspected pathogens.

Funded by: HDC

Seedborne diseases of peas

1992 - 1995

Funded by: EC

Bacterial blight of peas

1990 - 1994

Funded by: MAFF

Enhanced degradation of pesticides

1990 - 1994

Funded by: MAFF

Bacterial blight of peas

1987 - 1990

Funded by: MAFF

Latest projects...