Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting vital crops in China

Date:
November 28, 2013
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Evidence of disease in oilseed rape crops across China and how it may spread has been mapped by researchers, providing new strategic information on crop protection to the Chinese government.

Evidence of disease in oilseed rape crops across China and how it may spread has been mapped by researchers led by the University of Hertfordshire -- providing new strategic information on crop protection to the Chinese government.

Oilseed rape is prone to phoma stem canker, also known as blackleg disease, caused by two Leptosphaeria species. The more damaging pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans (L. maculans) has been spreading globally in oilseed rape crops over the last thirty years causing widespread losses with serious economic consequences. In China, phoma stem canker on oilseed rape has not generally been a serious problem because only the less damaging Leptosphaeria biglobosa (L. biglobosa) has been found there. However, as China began to import millions of tons of oilseed rape to crush for cooking oil, the route opened for L.maculans to spread via contaminated seed between countries. This put China, the world's biggest producer of rapeseed, at risk of this highly infectious crop pathogen.

Bruce Fitt, professor of plant pathology at the University of Hertfordshire, said: "Phoma stem canker is responsible for losses worth more than 1,200 million in oilseed rape crops across the world. Given the fragile state of the world's economy and concern over food shortages, we need to protect our arable crops from disease. In China this is of particular concern as food supplies are already tight for their population of 1.35 billion people -- the largest population in the world. Ensuring that they have enough food is one of the most important goals for the Chinese government."

A widespread survey, by Chinese collaborators of winter oilseed rape crops in central China and spring oilseed crops in north China, found no evidence of L. maculans. However, the survey did confirm that the less damaging L. biglobosa is widespread across China -- and in other countries this has shown to be a precursor to the spread of the more destructive L. maculans.

The researchers modelled the potential spread of the destructive L. maculans pathogen across the oilseed rape crops in China -- with predicted rates of spread of up to seventy kilometers per year and having a devastating effect on oilseed rape production.

Professor Fitt continued: "Reducing the risk of phoma stem canker in oilseed rape crops in China is a priority for Chinese government and industry. There is a pressing need to decrease the amounts of crop debris, a potent source of pathogen inoculum, in seed imports. And a number of the recommendations about preventing severe epidemics of phoma stem canker have already been taken up."

Short term strategies for the Chinese government include training farmers to recognise the symptoms of the disease, to import oilseed rape through Chinese ports in regions where little oilseed rape is grown, to test for the pathogen on imported seed, and importing rapeseed oil rather than importing the seed and crushing this locally. Longer-term strategies focus on introducing genes to the Chinese oilseed rape plants to build disease resistance.

The paper, "Leptosphaeria spp., phoma stem canker and potential spread of L. maculans on oilseed rape crops in China," is published in Plant Pathology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. X. Zhang, R. P. White, E. Demir, M. Jedryczka, R. M. Lange, M. Islam, Z. Q. Li, Y. J. Huang, A. M. Hall, G. Zhou, Z. Wang, X. Cai, P. Skelsey, B. D. L. Fitt, Leptosphaeria spp., phoma stem canker and potential spread of L. maculans on oilseed rape crops in China. Leptosphaeria spp., phoma stem canker and potential spread of L. maculans on oilseed rape crops in China. Plant Pathology, November 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Protecting vital crops in China." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128133917.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2013, November 28). Protecting vital crops in China. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128133917.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Protecting vital crops in China." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128133917.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins