Assessment of new and old Dickeya and Pectobacterium spp. on potato in Finland

Euphresco III Dickeya and Pectobacterium






1) Tausta ja tavoitteet

Recently, there has been an emergence of new Dickeya and Pectobacterium problems on a wide range of crop and ornamental plants world-wide, including many economically important crops, including potato, a crop which holds the promise to be the future food of the world. Dickeya solani and D. aquatica, have been recently identified and characterized (van der Wolf et al., 2014: Parkinson et al., 2014). Furthermore, Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense and Pectobacterium wasabiae previously known from other host plant or present outside Europe, have been recently identified as potato pathogens in Europe (Waleron et al., 2015: Nykyri et al., 2012). However, it is unclear if all the isolates detected by PCR amplification using P.c. subsp. brasiliense primers actually belong to this subspecies, since some of them display different biochemical characteristics and low virulence (De Boer et al., 2012). It is also not certain whether P. wasabiae and P. c. subsp. brasiliense have always been present but misidentified as P. carotovorum or whether they have become more common in the recent years due to changes occurring in recent years related to climate change effect and trade liberalization in Europe and the world at large. The ecology of these emerging and/or re emerging bacterial species is largely unknown and need to be investigated in detail.

The goal of this project go hand in hand with theme and target goals of the Euphresco project, where this project is a part of. Accordingly, our participation in Euphresco network will address the following targets.
1. Identification of Pectobacterium and Dickeya strains causing soft rot and blackleg of potato in cool climate conditions in Finland
2. Assessment of virulence of the identified Pectobacterium and Dickeya isolates in cool climate conditions
3. Validation a cost effective Real Time Detection System for use at the LUKE Molecular Biology laboratory
4. Development of biocontrol of soft rot in stored potato tubers

2) Toteutus

The work packages of the project inlude surveys, collection of plant disease and river water samples from the High Grade and some selected areas of table potato production area. Detection and isolation of cusal agents, pathogenicity tests and tests on the efficacy of biological control agents. The lab tests will be carried out at the Luke Molecular Biology laboratory and University of Helsinki where the expertise and facilities are in place. Field experiments involving field testing of biological agents will be conducted at PETLA field stations.
3) Tuotokset

-The prevalence and potential risks of newly emerging or re-emerging species on potato production in Finland will be determined
-Validated TaqMan Real Time Detection System for all the known blackleg and soft rot Dickeya and Pectobacterium for use in research and services at the Luke Molecular Biology Laboratory will be in place.
-The biological control efficacy of Serratia plymuthica against Dickeya and Pectobacterium will be determined
-Surface water contamination by Dickeya and Pectobacterium and irrigation guidelines
4) Vaikuttavuus ja käytäntöön vienti

- Increased ability of safegurding potato from dangerous and invasive pathogens
-Cost effective analysis methods will be in place to enourage seed potato companies and producers to test their seeds and know their risk levels- Well informed decision making.
-Sustainable disease management pracices
- Increased competetiveness in seed potato export to the rest of Europe
5) Asiakkaat
Seed potato/ ware potato companies and producers in Finland and abroad and Agricultural Advisory services will benefit from the outcomes of this project