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Detection and distribution of Aphanomyces euteiches in the United Kingdom.

Brian Ó Loinsigh: The University of Nottingham

<div>Aphanomyces root rot, caused by the oomycete <em>Aphanomyces euteiches</em> is one of the major constraints to pea production globally, causing up to 80% crop/yield losses per annum. <em>A</em>. <em>euteiches</em> is a strict soil borne pathogen completing its entire lifecycle in the host roots and surrounding soil. Even though the pathogen can cause such great yield losses, the spread and severity of <em>A. euteiches</em> across the UK growing regions is currently unknown. Therefore, due to the devastating effect <em>Aphanomyces</em> root rot can have on yield and a lack of effective control methods, the need for a rapid, simple, and inexpensive diagnostic detection tool is vital.</p> <p>In this study, we developed a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the specific detection and evaluation of <em>A. euteiches</em> from pea plate baiting experiments. The results obtained has shown high correlation between visual disease grading and LAMP amplification times<em>, </em>proving that this assay can be used to detect <em>A. euteiches</em> DNA on the roots of infected seedlings within days of receiving the samples.</p> <p>In order to estimate the degree of infestation within pea fields, we surveyed 67 sites, where soils was collected spanning the vining pea areas and tested for the presence of <em>Aphanomyces</em> root rot. <em>A. euteiches</em> was found to be present in over 60% of fields tested. Information from this study will allow a farmer to predict the inoculum potential within their fields, which, when combined with current cultural disease control methods may prevent unwarranted crop losses.</div>