Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Plant disease epidemiology

Plant disease epidemiology studies the spatial and temporal dynamics as well as the ecology of the interaction between populations of plant pathogens, plant hosts, and the environment.

Fusarium head blight in wheat. Photo: Magdalena Grudzinska Sterno.

A better understanding of these interactions will lead to environmentally friendly and sustainable crop production systems, which are the key to food production. Understanding these interactions is the first step to adherence to the EU 'Sustainable Use' directive (often called the IPM directive).

We study pathogen populations and their interactions

We use modern, state-of-the-art methods to study pathogen populations and their interactions. Modern molecular tools that use markers based on the pathogen DNA have enabled studying them at a resolution that was not possible using older phenotying markers, such as morphoology or virulence
to specific resistance genes. 

We have focused on some of the main staple food crops grown in Sweden, such as potatoes and small grains, because these crops are a basic component of the food supply, but also because diseases in these crops are responsible for a large amount of pesticide use in Sweden. As a result, we are one of the leading European groups studying late blight of potato, as well as some of the rusts and leaf blights on small grains.


Phytophthora infestans infecting a potato leaf. Photo: Björn Andersson.

The population biology and structure of several pathogens are targeted, including:

  • Phythophthora infestans on potato and tomato
  • Alternaria in potato
  • Several Puccinia species on small grains
  • Several leaf spot and head blight pathogens on small grains
  • Ralstonia and Xanthomonas in a tropical context

Some of the population interactions we study are:

  • Resistance to fungicides
  • How host plant resistance affects pathogen populations
  • Effects of climate change on plant diseases
  • Landscape level processes that affect plant disease development

List of people

Jonathan Yuen
Annika Djurle
Björn Andersson
Anna Berlin
Eva Edin
Florence Uwamahoro
Anne Njoroge

 

Contact

Do you want to know more about plant disease epidemiology?

Please contact

Professor
Jonathan Yuen

Telephone:   018-672369

 


 

 Harvesting potatoes for further analysis of Phytophthora infestans infection.

Conidia of Fusarium sp. Photo: Annika Djurle.

 

Fusarium head blight in wheat. Photo: Magdalena Grudzinska Sterno.

Page updated: 2016-03-17. Page editor: cajsa.lithell@slu.se

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