Science Into Practice - Clubroot control in propagation

Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) is one of the most serious diseases impacting on UK brassica crops. It is prevalent in all major production areas.

Uncontaminated transplants are an essential component of integrated clubroot control strategies. Effective control of spores through use of heat and disinfectants will minimise the risk of disease transfer to soil via propagation trays.

Led by John Walsh at Warwick Crop Centre, we researched new chemical and non-chemical methods to kill clubroot and Olpidium brassicae resting spores on transplant trays.

Eradicating clubroot resting spores proved challenging and needed further investigation using a range of temperature and disinfectant concentrations to find a practical solution.

In this second phase of work, the first year of trial results has shown that clubroot resting spores are exceedingly resilient using heat alone. To achieve control in a reasonable time for propagators to use in practice required high temperatures - close to 100 degsC.

Further experiments are being carried out this year to confirm the most useful exposure time and temperature combinations. Work is also progressing on determining the necessary exposure times of clubroot spores to different concentrations of the most promising disinfectants, Jet 5 and Aquaform. This information will provide propagators with a range of options for using disinfectants to decontaminate trays.

For more information on this project (FV PE 337a), see www.hdc.org.uk

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit www.hdc.org.uk


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