Better management of Rhizoctonia solani is the aim of a three-year programme of work, part-funded by the UK government’s Agri-Tech Catalyst fund.
An aggressive soil-borne pathogen of oilseed rape (OSR) R. solani can kill seedlings before or soon after they emerge. This is typically more problematic in close rotations, says AHDB.
One particular disease strain, AG2–1, is the main focus of the study because it is known to be associated with severe damping-off and has been shown to significantly impact on several root system traits of OSR.
Currently, there are no disease resistant varieties and management of this disease is often dependent on the use of fungicides, according to AHDB.
The project will look to identify genetic traits associated with resistance to R. solani in OSR, increase knowledge of disease epidemiology and yield loss, and investigate the potential of low-dose seed treatments targeted at soil-borne disease.
See also: OSR Yield Enhancement Network launched
Due to conclude in 2019, a key output of the work will be to produce the first guidelines for the integrated control of R. solani in OSR, says AHDB.
The project has been awarded funding of £619,000, which includes £80,000 from AHDB, and is being delivered by Syngenta and the University of Nottingham.