New Oomycetes information from AHDB Horticulture

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To help growers understand the impact of stem and root-rotting Oomycetes on their business and the testing and control methods for their detection and elimination, AHDB Horticulture has published a new suite of factsheets and videos.

Oomycetes are a large group of related fungus-like plant pathogens, including the genera Phytophthora, Pythium and Aphanomyces, which cause significant plant losses and yield declines in a wide range of plants across all sectors of horticulture.

Written by Dr Tim Pettitt, from the University of Worcester, the pack of three factsheets highlight how to test water for plant pathogens, the methods of water treatment, and give advice on hygiene and disease avoidance.

“It’s an old chestnut I know, but good hygiene is good husbandry- it’s worth the effort and cost as it really does significantly reduce disease, especially those caused by Oomycetes, and the benefits accrue year on year,” said Dr Tim Pettitt. “I hope the information in this pack will encourage and support front-line horticulturists in this aspect of their work”

The factsheets are accompanied by a series of videos which include guidance on how Oomycetes impact your business methods of water treatment for the elimination of plant pathogens, and testing and monitoring your water for Oomycete plant pathogens. The videos can be viewed using your smart phone or tablet while on the move, using the ‘Layar’ app, or on the Oomycete-dedicated webpage on the AHDB Horticulture website.

Whilst focused on Oomycete stem and root-rot diseases, the procedures and systems described in these factsheets have broader applicability, raising awareness of the value of good hygiene and supporting effective disease management and avoidance.

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