Research project targets blackleg threat to seed potato industry north of the border

A new £300,000 three-year project funded by the Potato Council and Scottish Government will investigate blackleg in potato, seen as a threat to Scotland's seed potato industry.

Researchers at Dundee's James Hutton Institute (JHI) and partners will seek to understand how and when seed becomes infected with the pathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum.

Explaining the project at the Scottish Society for Crop Research's Potato Winter Meeting last month, JHI research leader Professor Ian Toth said: "Although Scottish seed potato production remains free from Dickeya solani, we can't afford to be complacent about related pathogen P. atrosepticum, which also causes blackleg.

"It is present across Europe, including Scotland, and has been particularly troublesome over the last few years."


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