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Jens Grønbech Hansen

Diversity of populations of Phytophthora infestans in relation to patterns of potato crop management in Latvia and Lithuania

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  • R. Kiiker, Estonian University of Life Sciences
  • ,
  • I. Skrabule, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics
  • ,
  • A. Ronis, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
  • ,
  • D. E.L. Cooke, The James Hutton Institute
  • ,
  • J. G. Hansen
  • I. H. Williams, Estonian University of Life Sciences
  • ,
  • M. Mänd, Estonian University of Life Sciences
  • ,
  • E. Runno-Paurson, Estonian University of Life Sciences

Potato crop losses can be substantial when conditions for late blight (Phytophthora infestans) development and spread are favourable. In this study, drivers of differences between the P. infestans population structures in Latvia and Lithuania, two neighbouring countries with similar potato-growing traditions, were investigated. Genotypes of P. infestans and population genetic diversity were analysed using a 12-plex simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker assay. High genetic diversity was demonstrated in both populations, with population diversity being higher in Latvia. It would appear that local populations established from soilborne oospores early in the season are well adapted to the conditions in the region. However, somewhat greater spread and survival of local clones was detected in Lithuania, suggesting that potato cropping there is more vulnerable to clonal invasion than in Latvia. For effective disease management, current strategies should be adjusted according to the specific pathogen populations in the region, considering the reproduction and survival of the pathogen. Potato growers should implement late blight preventive measures such as longer field rotation to prevent oospore infections, especially in Latvia, and should use more disease resistant cultivars and high-quality seed potatoes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Pathology
Pages (from-to)1207-1214
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • adaptation, late blight, population diversity, sexual reproduction, simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers

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