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Improved disease prediction of late blight ( Phytophthora infestans) by early detection of airborne sporangia.


Dr. Jennifer Day
E-Mail: jad@aber.ac.uk

This research programme funded by MAFF is developing a device to capture and enumerate airborne sporangia of the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Detection of low levels of P.infestans sporangia early in the potato-growing season should permit more accurate prediction of late blight incidence than is currently possible using existing meteorological monitoring.  Increased accuracy in disease prediction will avoid unnecessary fungicide application and reduce crop losses.  

The device is based on a high volume air sampler (>500 l/min; 30 m3/hr) linked to a portable flow cytometer. The flow cytometer is able to measure fluorescence and light scatter of particles passing along a hydrodynamically focused fluid stream. The specificity of different fluorescent stains in distinguishing  P. infestans sporangia from other biological particles in the air is being evaluated.

Links to Phytophthora, aerobiology and disease prediction 

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