Leaves as spore traps for improved forecasting methods

Last changed: 05 February 2024

In this project we investigate if wheat leaves can be used to catch and analyse fungal spores. By increasing our knowledge on how diseases spread, we suggest better control strategies.

Knowledge of disease development in wheat is a prerequisite for good advice on economically and environmentally adapted control strategies. This project is based on knowledge from a previous project about molecular detection with spore traps, which showed that the different spore traps catch different types of fungal spores. We will now study how leaves can be used as spore traps. The objective is to catch and analyse only the fungi sticking to the crop and affecting the plant.

Specific questions are:

  • How does the presence of fungi on the leaf surface together with climatic factors affect the development of disease in wheat?
  • Can this method be used to minimize Fusarium and mycotoxins in grain yield?

The study is based on plant-health centres' work and the results will be relevant for all cereal producers. In the long term, the project will lead to a greater understanding of life cycles of plant pathogenic fungi and factors that influence their development.

People involved

  • Anna Berlin and Hanna Friberg.
    Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU
  • Anders Lindgren and Lars Johansson.
    Plant Protection Centres, Swedish Board of Agriculture

Funding: Swedish farmers’ foundation for agricultural research

Year: 2017-2019