Karnal Bunt Risks Conference
An international multidisciplinary research project was conducted on Tilletia indica (EPPO A1 list) within the EU Vth Framework Programme in order to revise the Pest Risk Analysis for this disease in Europe. Concerning the survival of teliospores, the project showed that they may survive significantly longer than 3 years (3-4 year period is considered as a maximum in areas where Karnal Bunt occurs naturally) in European soils/climates, with no evidence of rapid decline. It was shown also that infective inoculum had the potential to be available at the critical period of susceptibility of the wheat crop in the EU. Growth stages from GS 45 (boots swollen) to GS 69 (end of flowering) were identified as being potentially the susceptible stages for European wheat cultivars. Almost all European wheat (winter, spring, durum) cultivars were shown to be susceptible to T. indica, with large variability. Maps were drawn combining crop and pathogen models with climatic data, showing that conditions are suitable for bread wheat infection in arable areas of western and central Europe, and that the Northern Italian plain was most suitable for durum wheat infection. It was concluded that the risk of establishment of T. indica in EU wheat was significant. Socioeconomic impact was evaluated on the basis of several scenarios and appeared to be very large, which justified considerable efforts to exclude T. indica from the EU. Some management options were studied and aerial sprays of fungicides demonstrate a potential crop management use, should Karnal Bunt establish in the EU. A revised PRA for T. indica is being finalized on the basis of the EPPO PRA scheme and should be available soon.
Details can be seen on the project website:
Papers presented at the Karnal bunt risks, End of Project Conference held at York, GB, 2004-06-18