Epidemiology and Integrated Plant Protection

Dr. Hans Hausladen (GHL), Dr. Remco Stam, Prof. Dr. Ralph Hückelhoven

The sustainable and secure supply of food of high quality is one of the major challenges modern agriculture faces. Numerous biotic and abiotic factors reduce the quantity and quality of agricultural products. Important biotic factors are especially attributed to the occurrence of animal pests and fungal pathogens in our crops. A healthy plant, however, is a prerequisite for optimal growth and to reach the genetically determined potential yield.

The devision of Epidemiology at the Chair of Phytopathology analyzes the impact of pathogens in the major agricultural crops and examines approaches to the optimization of control strategies. The production of healthy plants according to integrated pest management strategies is the primarily goal. The following key activities are currently being worked on:

- Studies of biological and epidemiological contexts, using modern analytical methods (fungal genome sequencing, PCR, qPCR, ELISA, HPLC, GC) and conventional greenhouse and field trials (Phytophthora infestans, Ramularia collo-cygni, Alternaria spec. and Fusarium spec.)

-Development and evolution of fungicide resistance in Alternaria solani

-Biological protection of potato from early blight caused by Alternaria solani

-Population genetics and global epidemics of Ramularia collo-cygni

 - Development of forecasting and modelling systems on the basis of epidemiological and weather-based parameters

 - Optimizing the use of chemical pesticides in arable crops in terms of integrated crop production under the premise of the reduction of agrochemicals

- Developing innovative ways of disease diagnosis and evaluation for the implementation in practice, in cooperation with official advisory and regulatory institutions.



Selected publications:

Stam R, Sghyer H, Tellier A, Hess M, Hückelhoven R (2019) The current epidemic of the barley pathogen Ramularia collo-cygni derives from a recent population expansion and shows global admixture. Phytopathol. 109: 2161-2168.

Metz N, Adolf B, Chaluppa N, Hückelhoven R, Hausladen H (2019) Occurrence of sdh mutations in German Alternaria solani isolates and potential impact on boscalid sensitivity in vitro, in the greenhouse and in the field. Plant Disease 103: 3065–3071

Hofer K, Barmeier G, Schmidhalter U, Habler K, Rychlik M, Hückelhoven R, Hess M (2016) Effect of nitrogen fertilization on Fusarium head blight in spring barley. Crop Prot. 88: 18-27

Leiminger J, Adolf B, Hausladen H (2013) Occurence of the F129L mutation in Alternaria solani populations n Germany response to QoI application and its effect on sensitivity. Plant. Pathol. 63: 640-650