Verticillium disease etiology and nursery

Key Result

This research is still in progress, but the nursery will provide soil and plant materials and screen canola lines (in support of other ongoing research on this topic) and provide an opportunity for outreach and learning for growers and industry. Researchers will be able to inform the canola industry on verticillium stripe diagnosis, risks for yield loss, and means of control.

Project Summary

Kelburn variety trial; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Dr. Dilantha Fernando discusses ‘Microbial lifestyles of blackleg and verticillium stripe, and their impact across the Prairies’ in this CAP Wrap Up presentation on December 9, 2022.

Verticillium stripe, caused by the fungus Verticillium longisporum, was first found in canola in Canada in 2014. A subsequent survey in 2015 revealed that this disease is present in all provinces from Quebec to British Columbia, but most frequently found in Manitoba. There is much that is not known about this disease in Canada. But it has been present and studied for many years in Europe, where it has been shown to cause significant yield loss in both spring and winter types of Brassica napus.

This project is part of an integrated and collaborative approach to addressing the major research priorities around the new disease, Verticillium stripe, in Canada. Fundamental to the success of this project, is the establishment of a Verticillium nursery at the first report farm for the pathogen on canola in North America. The nursery will be sited on a four-hectare area known to have the highest soil density of the pathogen at the farm. The nursery will provide support for activities including soil and plant materials for method development, longevity of the pathogen, screening of canola lines, disease development and yield effects, and outreach to growers and industry.

The specific project objectives are:

  1. Further development of tools for rapid identification of the pathogen in soil.
  2. Understand the longevity of the pathogen and micro-sclerotia in soil.
  3. Establish the endophytic nature of the pathogen in soil.
  4. Measure the diversity of V. longisporum and its lineage.
  5. Determine and quantify the relationship and interaction between V. longisporum and L. maculans.
  6. Develop and utilize a Verticillium nursery to provide source materials.
  7. Understand the yield risk of Verticillium longisporum.
  8. Foster awareness of the disease for its diagnosis, risks and control.
Kelburn variety trial; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Variety trial at Portage; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Verticillium symptoms; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Different resistance response; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Microsclerotia; Photo credit: Aria Dolatabadian
Visible verticillium microsclerotia; Photo credit Aria Dolatabadian