Monday, 17 September 2012

Professor Shares Expertise on Crop Disease

Professor Bruce Fitt, a well-known expert in his field of crop diseases, is making a significant contribution to a project investigating the barley disease, Rhynchosporium.

Barley is a major cereal grain with important uses as animal fodder and also for the brewing and whiskey industry. Rhynchosporium is the most problematic and economically damaging disease of barley worldwide. Annual crop losses in the UK from this disease are around £7m despite fungicide treatments which cost about £25m.

With over 30 years’ experience in crop diseases, Bruce is a key collaborator on the project which aims to bring more genetic resistant varieties of barley to the market and so ensure our future food security. The five year project, Symptomless Infection of Barley: resistance breeding and integrated crop protection strategies (SIBLINGS project), is funded by the Technology Strategy board and carried out in collaboration with the James Hutton Institute (Dundee), KWS (barley breeding company), DuPont (agrochemical company) and Agrii (agronomy intelligence services).

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