You need to know your enemy if you want to fight it, says Martin Filion, an associate professor at the Université de Moncton in Canada. “Genetic diversity of a pathogen means differences in functions the pathogen might have,” he says. “For instance, different species or strains might have different responses to chemicals or agricultural practices you are using to manage the disease.”
Information about which common scab species and strains are present and their particular characteristics is very important to developing more effective control methods for the specific pathogens in growers’ fields.
Common scab is a widespread, economically important disease in Atlantic Canada. “The disease is always present in almost every field,” says Filion, who has been researching common scab for about 14 years. “Some producers will have more losses than others, but producers will face diseased tubers year after year.”