Ont. Potato Board project evaluating spore trapping technology to help growers improve late blight

A&L Biologicals helps growers manage devastating diseases using early molecular detection.

Article from Potatoes in Canada https://www.potatoesincanada.com/alberta-spore-traps-catch-late-blight-spores/

Spore trapping continues in Ontario

In Ontario, Eugenia Banks lead a two-year Ontario Potato Board project evaluating one type of spore trapping technology in order to help growers improve late blight management with good results. The year 2020 marks the fourth year spore traps will be set up in potato fields across Ontario to help detect spores of late blight. The traps are placed in Shelburne, Alliston, and Simcoe-Delhi areas.

Banks says two late blight spore traps are up and running in the Alliston area, and two traps will be installed in the Shelburne-Melancthon area on June 19.

Spore traps are low-technology devices that sit in a field and collect disease spores from the air and water. The collected filters are sent to A&L Laboratories for bi-weekly PCR analysis to assess disease risk. The results are shared with growers and early detection of late blight potential helps alert growers to add late blight fungicide into their mix.

The initial symptoms of late blight. Photo courtesy of Andy Robinson, North Dakota State University.

The initial symptoms of late blight. Photo courtesy of Andy Robinson, North Dakota State University.

Banks says in 2019, spore traps caught late blight sporangia – a sporangium is an enclosure in which spores are formed – during prolonged dry periods.

“There were areas in Blair County, New York, with many infested fields, and the sporangia may have blown in from there. Sporangia can be carried long distances by wind,” Banks explains.

To stay ahead of late blight, Eugenia Banks shares early summer, mid-summer, and late summer practices to protect growers against late blight in their potato fields. “Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Banks says.

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A&L Biological Inc.

A&L Biological Inc. ("A&L Biologicals") is a subsidiary of A&L Canada Laboratories Inc.

2136 Jetstream Road  

London, ON  Canada   N5V 3P5


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