EuroBlight is continuously examining the ongoing evolution of the European population of the potato late blight pathogen and now reports on the 2018 results. Approximately 1000 samples were genotyped from 22 countries, says JENS GRØNBECH HANSEN in a recent article published on the EuroBlight website.
Hansen summarizes the key findings as follows:
- Three emerging clones (37_A2, 36_A2 and 41_A2) increased their combined frequency from 10% in 2016 to 36% of the population in 2018
- These more recent clones are displacing the established 13_A2, 6_A1 and 1_A1 clones which reduced from 60 to 40% of the samples over the same period
- One fifth of the population comprised ephemeral, genetically diverse isolates consistent with oospore-borne inoculum.
- A regional pattern in the dominance of clones versus sexual recombinants was observed across Europe. Some implications of these displacements and ongoing changes are discussed.
- The weather in year 2018, was very dry and unfavourable for late blight development. Therefore, the number of samples were lower than normal. Nonetheless, over 1000 samples were genotyped from 22 countries.