The industry representative is Toby Marchant of Orchard Dene Nurseries and the project leader is Dr Phil Jennings from Fera Science. HNS 196 from the AHDB will cost £6,171 and is due for completion on 31 March 2016.
Aquilegia downy mildew is caused by a species of Peronospora that is currently unnamed. The first occurrence of the disease appears to be on a nursery in 2011, with more widespread reports in gardens during 2013.
Little or no work has been published on the disease and as a result it is difficult to establish from the literature why the disease has become more prevalent. This project aims to establish the main sources of inoculum for the disease on nurseries.
Meanwhile, following the completion of AHDB Horticulture-funded project HNS/PO 188 "Baiting and diagnostic techniques for monitoring Phytophthora and Pythium species in irrigation water on ornamental nurseries", a summary guide has been produced that provides the necessary detail to create the baiting kit and instructions on how to use a lateral flow device to test for the presence of the pathogens.
These instructions offer a methodology trialled within HNS/PO 188. AHDB Horticulture is aware that a number of alternative methodologies are available and offered via plant clinics and laboratories for use by growers who wish to undertake regular testing of their irrigation water.
Additional fact sheets offering further details on alternative methodologies are currently in production.