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KARNAL BUNT RISKS
Risks associated with Tilletia indica, the newly listed EU quarantine pathogen, the cause of Karnaval Bunt of wheat

There are risks posed to European Union wheat by Tilletia indica, which is the cause of karnal bunt. T. indica does not occur in Europe but is intercepted on wheat imports and threatens wheat quality, yield and exports. Legislation to protect EU wheat was enforced in 1997, based on a theoretical pest risk analysis (PRA). International debate has questioned the justification for legislation, implying such policies are trade restrictive. Research will be undertaken to develop a more accurate PRA for T. indica. Modelling and geographical information systems will determine areas at risk, and a socio-economic model will determine the risks that this and related pathogens pose. A PRA based on scientific experimentation will be produced which can be used internationally by policy makers to re-evaluate legislation for T. indica, and a risk management plan will be developed for Europe. The international PRA process will be developed for plant pathogens.

Objectives
The objectives of this project are:
1) to accurately predict the risk of Tilletia indica becoming established in Europe, by combining crop and pathogen models and to use these alongside new pathogen data in pest risk mapping and pest risk analysis to support and underpin EU plant health policy and legislation on T. indica
2) to determine the susceptibility of European wheat cultivars to T. indica and to estimate potential losses of yield of these cultivars if T. indica reaches Europe
3) to determine the survival of T. indica teliospores under a range of European soil conditions
4) to determine the abiotic factors that affect dormancy and germination of T. indica teliospores using controlled environments, relating the results to European climatic conditions and European wheat crop phenology
5) to accurately predict the likely socio-economic impact of T. indica should it be introduced to Europe
6) to analyse the risk of entry, establishment and socio-economic losses for the EU and to develop harmonised risk management strategies and contingency plans to deal with actual introductions of T. indica to Europe, especially aspects of eradication, containment and control, while minimising disruption to free trade
7) to generalise the specific findings of the project so as to develop risk analysis techniques for other plant pathogens of potential threat to the EU, supporting EU and international plant health policy and legislation
8) to disseminate project outputs on (a) the risks to the EU from Tilletia indica and (b) advances in pest risk analysis for plant pathogens. This will be achieved through an Internet website established for the project and by holding a workshop at the end of the project for representatives from EU Member States and other interested parties, including representatives from national and/or international plant health organisations.

Progress to Date
Simulation models for predicting the dates of wheat ear emergenceand the risk period for karnal bunt infection have ben validated and compared.A procedure to estimate missing weather data important for the calculation of the infection risk has been developed, as has a simplified mapping tool.
Work on physiological susceptibility has been completedand the report delivered.
It has been proved that teliosporescan susrvive in European soils in a range of climactic zones.
Work on the timing of teliospore germination has produced solid results.
The in vitro and in planta fungicide work has been completed.
Publications are being generated and presented at conferences.

Classified in CEREALS, CROP PESTS AND DISEASES, CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, QUANTITATIVE APPROACHES AND MODELLING

Scientist responsible for the project

Ms CLAIRE SANSFORD
SAND HUTTON
YO41 1LZ York
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 1904 462225
Fax: +44 1904 462250
E-mail: c.sansford@csl.gov.uk

References

Project ID QLRT-1999-01554
Organisation CENTRAL SCIENCE LABORATORY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 February 2000
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 2 219 766 €
Total EC contribution   1 312 000 €
Status Ongoing

The partners

  • The Danish Government Institute of SeedPathology for Developing Countries, Denmark - DK
    vib@kvl.dk
  • USDA Ars Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, United States (The) - US
    peterson@ncifcrf.gov
  • The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark - DK
    jrp@kvl.dk
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