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Resisting risks of new spinach Downy Mildew strain

Babyleaf spinach growers are being warned to be alert to the dangers of a new race of Downy Mildew, which could overcome existing genetic resistance of some varieties covering races 1 - 14.

The new strain of Peronospora farinose was first identified in the US, but has subsequently been found in a number of locations around the world. The Dutch-based International Working Group has now designated the new race as Pfs: 15, declaring that it has the ability to spread across a wide area and cause a significant financial impact to growers.

Researchers have recognised that new race of Downy Mildew appeared to have similar characteristics to a previously prevalent strain, Pfs: 4. However, some varieties that were resistant to Pfs: 4 can still prove susceptible to the new Pfs: 15 strain.

Syngenta salad specialist, George Hallam commented: “The good news is that, whilst this is a new race, a number of the resistance mechanisms already used in the Syngenta spinach variety breeding programme have proved robust and effective against Pfs: 15.

“Our varieties have the necessary broad-base disease resistance genes in-situ, to give growers greater protection from evolving Downy Mildew issues. Syngenta can offer different resistance packages, such as El Real pfs 1-12,14,15 and El Tajin 1-9,11-15, to cover both the spring and autumn seasons,” he reported.

The resistance of all Syngenta varieties will be fully characterised for growers in brochures and on the website.

Syngenta field technical manager, Pete Saunders added advice that genetic resistance should always be used in conjunction with an effective fungicide programme, including an application of Revus, to minimise the risk of resistant strains developing and to maintain a clean, disease-free leaf through to harvest.

Full details of the new resistant Downy Mildew strain are available from the The International Working Group on Peronospora farinose (IWGP).

For more information:
Syngenta Ltd.
George Hallam
T: +44 01223 883400
Email: [email protected]

Christopher Lees
Tel: +44 01223 883400
Email: [email protected]

Kirsty Gould
T: +44 01223 883501
Email: [email protected]

Mark Sanderson
T: +44 01635 278236
Email: [email protected]
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