AgronomyDiseasesStudy Looks at Late Blight Changes in Europe, Asia

Study Looks at Late Blight Changes in Europe, Asia


Scientists have been looking into the spread of potato late blight across Europe and Asia, a news release from the James Hutton Institute says on April 28.

The scientists tracked the distribution and diversity of dominant clones in Europe in 2020, and also assisted to a review of the development of the disease in Asia over the last 150 years, the release notes. Late blight was a major role of the Irish potato famine, and is still a huge problem for growers today — causing massive crop losses and has proven difficult to manage by chemical control and traditional breeding methods.

“The blight pressure in 2020 was lower than average with a prolonged spell of warm, dry weather early in the season which checked the development of the disease in many regions. The proportions of the main clones in the 2020 population structure were broadly similar to those reported in 2019,” David Cooke, James Hutton Institute researcher and co-leader of the EuroBlight study, says in the release.

The EuroBlight consortium, which includes Aarhus University, Wageningen University and INRAE, tracked the European spatial distribution of Phytophthora infestans since 2013, and added new data to show the distribution and diversity of dominant clones from the 2020 crop. The report, available on the research group website, combines information from 1,221 samples collected in 28 countries and genotyped in 2020.

The data shows the survival and spread of newer clones, while others are decreasing or have failed to establish, the release notes. This suggests they are evolutionarily fit and supports anecdotal evidence they are more challenging to manage in the field.

AsiaBlight has been launched recently. It is modelled after Euroblight, and brings together researchers from across the continent, to promote co-operation and data sharing with the goal of improving sustainable production of healthy potato crops.

The review, titled Potato late blight in Asia: Phytophthora infestans over a century and a half – a Plant Pathology highlight, was published in Plant Pathology.

Related Articles

Fighting Back Against Late Blight – A Spud Smart Innovation Series Webinar & Podcast

A Flu Shot for Potatoes

New Late Blight Resistance Genes Discovered

Trending This Week

Caliente Rojo mustard

Exterminating Verticillium wilt from Potato Fields with Mustard Biofumigation

A team of researchers in Manitoba have found success using mustard biofumigation to rid fields of Verticillium wilt. Experts Editor’s note: This interview has been edited...
Freshly dug potatoes

Disease Management vs. Sustainability — Does it Have to be a Choice?

The push for sustainability in agriculture today has garnered mainstream attention. We’re shifting towards seeing and valuing regenerative, soil-health promoting practices, and that’s good...
Super-Pufft logo

Potato Chip Company Super-Pufft Announces New Facility in Alberta

Super-Pufft has announced it will be building a new state-of-the-art potato chip processing facility in Airdrie, Alta., a May 17 news release said. Super-Pufft is...
Potato plants growing in a field

Syngenta to Release Envita Nitrogen-fixing Product in Canada

Syngenta Canada has received the exclusive rights to distribute Azotic Technologies’ nitrogen-fixing biological, Envita, in Canada, a May 17 news release said.
Fall bedding

Alberta Research Project Looks Into Sustainable Potato Field Prep

A new research project at Alberta's Lethbridge College is looking into sustainable fall bedding practices for potato production, a May 19 news release said. Rezvan...