Potato root infection by powdery scab pathogen

Project details

Status: Completed

TIA Associate Professor Calum Wilson is leading this project with the aim of developing a package of integrated disease control options for powdery scab.

The research will also provide new information on the fundamental understanding of the Spongospora root infection process which will be essential for design and development of future management strategies.

What is powdery scab?

Powdery scab disease of potato is a common and economically important blemish disease. It is caused by tuber infections with the protozoan pathogen Spongospora subterranean.

More recently potato root infection by this pathogen has been demonstrated to result in significant yield losses which greatly affect the economic competitiveness of the industry.

Conservative industry estimates suggest powdery scab can result in losses of 10 per cent in French fry production.

Exacerbating these losses are the extremely high levels of the pathogen present in Australian soils and cultivars that are both susceptible and sensitive to root infection.

Very little is understood about the survival and activation of soil-borne inoculum of the pathogen and of the process of root infection which has greatly hampered our ability to generate effective control treatments and minimize losses due to root infection.

Associate Professor Calum Wilson gives an overview of recent advancements in tackling both powder and common scab of potato.

For more information contact:

Associate Professor Calum Wilson