Science into practice screening new varieties for susceptibility

Basal rot (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. narcissi) is possibly the most difficult and costly disease that bulb growers encounter. It has been damaging crops for more than 100 years and remains a major concern.

With ever-reducing availability of chemical controls, growers need to be aware of the relative susceptibility of stocks to basal rot to be able to dispose of susceptible stocks and concentrate on growing those showing signs of disease resistance.

Daffodil breeding has resulted in a large pool of new varieties. HDC project BOF 57 aimed to give growers data on basal rot susceptibility of these clones using a testing system that had already been successfully on a range of Rosewarne raised clones and existing commercial cultivars.

Healthy bulbs were planted next to inoculator bulbs (Fusarium-rotted 'Golden Harvest') and the test varieties were assessed for Basal rot losses over one or two years.

Information from this project has been accumulated over several years and gives an essential guide to performance. Growers will be able to assess these stocks for future priority treatment and propagation or as candidates for destruction. The complete list of varieties tested and the results are in the project report, available from the HDC.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

HDC Field Vegetables Panel Meeting - Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, 10 March.

BCGA/HDC Carrot & Parsnip Growers Seminar - PGRO, Peterborough, 7 April.

HDC HNS Panel Meeting - Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, London, 24 March.

Horticultural Development Company

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


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