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New Swedish grants for projects on plant diseases

Staff Writer |
Researchers at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology have a received research grants of approximately 6 million SEK for two new research projects on integrated pest management.

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C-IPM (Coordinated Integrated Pest Management) has gathered funders from 18 countries in its second call for international research projects. In Sweden, Formas coordinated the call.

The Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology got funding for two new projects.

The first project is called Spot-IT and will produce a decisions support system for leaf spot diseases of cereals. The aim is to provide cereal farmers in the Nordic-Baltic region with better models for predicting leaf spot diseases in wheat and barley.

This will be done by choosing and improving user-friendly, locally adapted disease prediction models, made available to the farmers through locally adapted IPM tools.

Professor Jonathan Yuen will be the project coordinator for the Swedish part of the project.

Björn Andersson and Annika Djurle from the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology will work on the project together with Hanna Bergeå and Helena Nordström Källström from the Department of Urban and Rural Development.

The second project is called Euro-Res and deals with fungicide resistance in the fungus Zymoseptoria tritici.

This harmful fungus can cause severe yield losses in wheat crops in northern Europe and is controlled mainly with fungicides.

A serious problem is fungicide resistance, which means that the pathogen no longer can be combated effectively with fungicides.

In the project, the diverse knowledge available in the project group and the large variability of the pathogen in the participating countries will be used to identify the presence of fungicide resistance in Z. tritici, and to study the distribution dynamics of the pathogen in Europe.

One goal is to develop IPM-based control strategies against Z. tritici to reduce the risk that the fungus becomes resistant to fungicides.

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