Science Into Practice - Light leaf spot in brassicas

Light leaf spot, caused by the fungus Pyrenopeziza brassicae, is an increasingly important disease of vegetable brassicas and oilseed rape crops.

Good control with fungicides is now difficult to achieve and greater use of cultivars with good resistance is essential to manage the disease.

A joint PhD studentship project between the HDC and the HGCA (a division of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) has been set up to give us a better understanding of the disease. The aim is to understand the variation and pathogenicity of light leaf spot in the UK.

In the project that started last year (HDC project FV 422 Management of light leaf spot in brassicas), light leaf spot samples are being collected and analysed by PhD student Coretta Kloppel. She will isolate individual pathogens and look at the variation between them.

The aim is to identify potential sources of resistance for breeders using DNA testing. Further details about the project can be found on the HDC website. The HDC has also produced a fact sheet on light leaf spot that is available to download from the website. It contains information on the symptoms, life cycle and control of pathogen. To view the fact sheet, please go to

HDC levy payers and associates can order hard copies of any of the HDC's publications by contacting Louise Arculus on 024 7647 8661 or emailing

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