New interactive tool will help farmers contain the spread of clubroot

September 28, 2020

First described in the 13th century in Russia, clubroot has been affecting worldwide brassica production, including canola, broccoli, and black mustard, since. Clubroot is so tenacious because the casual pathogen produces resting spores that can survive in infected soil for decades, surviving harsh environments like cold winters and hot summers. It is also easily transferable from field to field when farmers share equipment.

In Canada, clubroot is a very serious threat to the $27 billion dollar canola industry. In the last ten years, clubroot has led to $500 million in losses. And while some Canadian provinces do a great job trying to trace the pathogen in canola fields, other fields, growing mainly Brassicas vegetables, have been overlooked, resulting in a growing clubroot infection.

"As a plant pathologist, my philosophy has always been to listen to the farmers. They know the problems that the scientists should try to tackle," Edel Pérez-López, author of a paper recently published in Plant Health Progress, said. This attitude inspired him and his colleagues at the University of Calgary and the University of Saskatchewan to develop a new tool that will curtail the devastating effects of clubroot.

"ClubrootTracker is an interactive tool that will help farmers locate clubroot-infected areas and can be used by farmers, researchers, and industry and government representatives to share the clubroot status of their land," explained Edel Pérez-López, one of the plant pathologists involved in the development of this tool. "We believe that the ClubrootTracker will be a gamechanger on the management of clubroot disease both in Canada and worldwide."

The ClubrootTracker is the first tool that groups in one place the distribution of clubroot disease and while the team had the support of Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund and the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Pérez-López pointed out that his team really didn't need more than a computer and ideas to develop this new technology.

"There has been a widely positive response to the ClubrootTracker and many farmers and industry partners have showed interest in using it."
-end-
This technology also has the potential to host the distribution of other plant pathogens affecting canola or any other crop. The authors have made the coding freely available to anyone who wants to use it or modify it for another pathogen or disease. To learn more, read ".

American Phytopathological Society

Related Pathogen Articles from Brightsurf:

Cell-autonomous immunity and the pathogen-mediated evolution of humans
Although immune responses are generated by a complex, hierarchical arrangement of immune system organs, tissues, and components, the unit of the cell has a particularly large effect on disease progression and host survival.

Microbial genetics: A protean pathogen
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is linked to increased risk of stomach cancer, and is genetically highly variable.

"Winter is coming": The influence of seasonality on pathogen emergence
Seasonal fluctuations drive the dynamics of many infectious diseases. For instance, the flu spreads more readily in winter.

Fungal pathogen disables plant defense mechanism
Cabbage plants defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens by deploying a defensive mechanism called the mustard oil bomb.

The disease pyramid: Environment, pathogen, individual and microbiome
Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Université de Toulouse and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) show how the microbial colonisation of the organism influences the interactions between living organisms, the environment and pathogens, using amphibians like frogs as examples.

Global spread of the multi-resistant pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
An international consortium found a remarkable global spread of strains of a multi-resistant bacterium that can cause severe infections - Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

New information about the transmission of the amphibian pathogen, Bsal
Using existing data from controlled experiments and computer simulations, researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found that host contact rates and habitat structure affect transmission rates of Bsal among eastern newts, a common salamander species found throughout eastern North America.

New pathogen threatens fennel yield in Italy
A new fungal genus and species Ochraceocephala foeniculi causes fennel yield losses of about 20-30% for three different cultivars.

Study shows CRISPR effectiveness against colitis pathogen
Research at North Carolina State University shows that the CRISPR-Cas system can be used to effectively target and eliminate specific gut bacteria, in this case Clostridioides difficile, the pathogen that causes colitis -- a chronic, degenerative disease of the colon.

X-ray eyes peer deeper into deadly pathogen
In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and their international colleagues examine a key membrane protein responsible for the tularemia bacterium's prodigious ability to infect the body and cause illness.

Read More: Pathogen News and Pathogen Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.