Powdery mildew update January 2016
No biological control agent (BCA) is currently registered for control of powdery mildew in cereals in the EU. BIOCOMES partners are developing a fungal biological control agent for spray applications against powdery mildew in cereals. This new biological control agent may also be effective against other powdery mildew species in other crops or other foliar diseases in cereals.
In 2014 fungal isolates were obtained from leaf samples of cereal crops, grasses and other plant species affected by powdery mildews. Leaf samples were collected in the Netherlands, Northeast, Central and Western Germany and Southern Sweden (see our update of December 2014). In 2014 the isolates have been pre-tested and more than 700 of them fulfilled the pre-screening criteria (see our update of June 2015).
In 2015 the number of fungal isolates has been further reduced after a more severe pre-screening on various temperatures and humidity conditions. This resulted in 185 isolates that have been tested on powdery mildew in wheat plants. The Wageningen UR researchers found several promising isolates among these 185 isolates that significantly and repeatedly reduced powdery mildew in wheat. These isolates will be tested under different environmental circumstances (temperature and humidity) to check their antagonistic capacities. The most promising isolates will then be tested on the amount of spores they produce. High spore production is needed for the production of high amounts of biocontrol product. These tests will be performed by BIOCOMES partner Bayer CropScience Biologics.
See our earlier updates on the powdery mildew research:
Read more about our activities on powdery mildew
Measuring powdery mildew pustules on a wheat leaf. (Picture: Wageningen UR)