Research project UKCPVS celebrates 50 years

UKCPVS celebrates 50 years of research at NIAB with, from left, Prof James Brown, Chair of UKCPVS St

UKCPVS celebrates 50 years of research at NIAB with, from left, Prof James Brown, Chair of UKCPVS Steering Committee, NIABs Dr Sarah Holdgate, UKCPVS project manager, Prof Martin Wolfe, founding member of the Survey, previously of PBI, and Sue Slater, former mildew research assistant from PBI then NIAB. - Credit: Archant

A national research project that actively seeks out and advises on changes in cereal disease populations across the UK is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Yellow Rust spores can be seen bursting out of a wheat leaf from the inside, tearing their way throu

Yellow Rust spores can be seen bursting out of a wheat leaf from the inside, tearing their way through the epidermis. - Credit: Archant

The UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) focuses on wheat yellow rust, and includes wheat brown rust and wheat and barley mildew, providing an early warning system to growers and plant breeders of new races of disease.

It was originally established at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Cambridge, which still manages it, but it is now funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

“The greatest change over the past 50 years has been the replacement of the UK population of yellow rust with the ‘Warrior’ population in 2011. The rust population is now so diverse that wheat varieties react in different ways than before,” said NIAB pathologist Sarah Holdgate.

Yellow Rust spores on the surface of a wheat leaf, with the sequencing slide used to introduce sampl

Yellow Rust spores on the surface of a wheat leaf, with the sequencing slide used to introduce samples to the high-throughput genetic sequencer. - Credit: Archant


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