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    Assessing the impact of root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus spp) infestations on the production of potatoes


    Potato crops are subject to different pests and diseases, with plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) being one of the major pests. Root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) are migratory endoparasitic nematodes which are considered to be the third most important species of PPN in terms of their economic impact on global crop production. To date, very few UK agronomists and crop advisors are aware of the damage and symptoms caused by Pratylenchus spp. in potatoes and in general there is little in the way of a management strategy used to combat these pest species. For this reason, a survey in potato growing land in England and Scotland will be conducted to determine the distribution and prevalence of Pratylenchus spp. This project will provide an opportunity to collect robust data to develop strategic and directed research that addresses the current concerns on root lesion nematodes by the potato industry. The proposed objectives will be investigated in a three year PhD study which commenced in October 2016.



    • To undertake a survey to determine the distribution and prevalence of Pratylenchus spp. in potato growing land in England and Scotland
    • To identify Pratylenchus spp. present in the UK and to develop molecular assays for rapid confirmation and quantification
    • To determine potato damage thresholds for Pratylenchus species in different soil types with a range of cultivars under controlled conditions
    • Investigate how the damage thresholds  translate to potato growth, yield and tuber quality in the field.
    • To determine if a disease complex exists between Pratylenchus species and Rhizoctonia solani in potatoes

    Funding Body


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