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DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11 S 113 Teagasc (UCD, AFBI) €759,828

Project Title:

Monitoring Pathogen Evolution for Sustainable Cropping

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Steven Kildea

Project Abstract

Globally, Ireland consistently achieves some of the highest tillage yields due to a moist maritime climate during the growing season. Yet, volatile commodity prices, increased regulatory constraints and the emergence of highly aggressive, fungicide-resistant strains of the primary crop pathogens threatens the sector’s competitiveness. Wheat, barley and potato are the three primary tillage crops on the island of Ireland but all three succumb to significant disease pressures that growers counter with the use of high fungicide inputs. Unsustainable in the long-term, the current strategies have led to an accelerated rate of genetic change in pathogen populations. As a consequence, novel strains of Phytophthora infestans (potato late blight disease), Mycosphaerella graminicola (septoria blotch disease of wheat) and Rhynchosporium commune (barley leaf scald) have emerged, which present a significant challenge to the continued viability of each cropping system. In response, this project aims to counter this issue by completing (i) a robust pathogen monitoring strategy for each disease and (ii) a complementary programme that disseminates in real time to stakeholders viable alternative strategies to mitigate the impact of changing pathogens. Multi-disciplinary and – institutional, through innovation and strategic research MonPESC is designed to support the ‘SMART GROWTH’ of the Irish tillage sector via sustainable intensification as envisaged under Food Harvest 20201. In parallel, the development of staff competencies in biotechnology-based solutions supports the development of a knowledge economy as per the National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI)2.

Final Report:

Not available yet.