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    Cultural Control of Aerial Oomycetes Through Manipulation of the Protected Environment in Propagation and Protected Production


    We are working on this project funded by AHDB, and led by Dr Andrew Beacham at Harper Adams University to: critically review existing published and grey literature pertaining to cultural control of downy mildew pathogens in protected horticulture, to determine current knowledge availability and its potential for implementation of changes in the industry to benefit growers.


    Aerial oomycetes pathogens continue to represent a serious threat to the UK horticultural industry. Downy mildews arising from infection by pathogens including Peronospora, Bremia and Phytophthora spp. can lead to significant destruction of crops. Enclosed structures used in protected cultivation could permit particularly rapid development and spread of infection. Legislative changes, resistance evolution and only moderate efficacy limit the use of fungicides to control such diseases. Recent research has indicated that cultural control methods, including manipulation of ventilation, temperature and relative humidity (RH) and use of ultraviolet (UV-B, UV-C) radiation, night break lighting and heat treatments, may represent promising approaches for the control of disease development by downy mildew pathogens in protected cultivation.

    Quick Scoping Review methodology was used to identify published and grey literature, relevant to downy mildew control in the protected production of lettuce, basil, pot herbs, Aquilegia, Viola, stocks and salad crops. The evidence collated will be used to determine the current state of knowledge in this area and its potential for implementation of changes in the industry to benefit growers. Gaps in knowledge will be identified and suggestions for research priorities will be made. The results of the review will be disseminated to growers via an AHDB report and range of knowledge exchange activities.


    Funding Body

    Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

    Lead Organisation

    Harper Adams University

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