The most important potato leaf diseases are late blight (Phytophthora infestans), early blight (Alternaria solani) and brown spot (Alternaria alternata). Yield losses for potato blight range from 40 to 100% in unsprayed potato crops with an increase in virulence from these pathogens.
We are currently evaluating quick, reliable screening methods against these diseases for the potato breeding scheme at ARC-VOP. Fungicide resistance of pathogens is a growing problem world-wide.
Part of our research includes screening of Alternaria species for resistance to commonly used fungicides, in order to provide correct advice to farmers.
Contact: Dr Rene Sutherland or Dr Elsie Cruywagen
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