Developing integrated approaches for pest & disease control in horticultural field crops (IAPAD)

Project Detail

Developing integrated approaches for pest & disease control in horticultural field crops (IAPAD)

Turnip yellows virus (TuYV) is an important and widespread virus infecting brassica/crucifer crops worldwide. It is spread by aphids and the most important vector in the UK is the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae. In the UK, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprout and oilseed rape are all affected by TuYV. In bad years, all plants in certain crops can be infected and, even in years when there are few aphid vectors, up to 60% of plants in certain vegetable crops are still infected. The virus doesn't cause clear symptoms in plants and most of the time farmers don't know their crops are infected. However, it significantly reduces the yield of crops and recent studies have shown that it reduces the yield of cabbage by up to 36% and brussels sprouts by up to 65%. As there are no clear virus symptoms in infected plants, farmers usually put poor growth and reduced yield down to other factors (e.g. lack of rain, fertiliser etc.). All known varieties of vegetable brassicas are susceptible to TuYV, but some are less susceptible than others. Currently growers spray brassica crops many times (up to 6) in attempts to control the aphid vectors of this virus. This project aims to: i) Optimise insecticide treatments so that vegetables are treated with less insecticide and have less insecticide residues in them. ii) Ensure that insecticides are applied at the optimum time to maximise control of aphid vectors and virus. iii) Combine seed treatments that reduce insecticide inputs with optimum planting time, partial plant resistance and optimum insecticide applications in an integrated programme to maximise aphid and virus control. iv) Identify new sources of complete resistance to TuYV in wild relatives of the brassica vegetables. These will be released to seed companies for resistance incorporation into their commercial vegetable lines.



  • Rothamsted Research

Scientific Theme