Combat Phytophthora and Potato virus Y this season!
Since the COVID pandemic, we have all become familiar with using lateral flow tests as a quick & easy way of
testing for the virus. Similar tests are also available for testing plants/trees for pathogens.
Pocket Diagnostic are the UK leaders in producing plant health rapid lateral flow tests which are unrivalled in terms of sensitivity and reliability. They offer a simple & rapid test specifically for Phytophthora spp., Potato Virus Y (PVY), Erwinia Amylovora (Fireblight) and Ralstonia Solanacearum (Bacterial wilt, Brown Rot). In just IO minutes you can confirm whether a tree/host plant is positive or negative for the pathogen.
Within the Potato Industry most are aware of the effects Phytophthora has had, causing a potato famine killing an estimated I million people in the 1800s. With Phytophthora presence high and spreading quickly in the UK, a quick diagnosis is more important now than ever.
Phytophthora (name derived from the Greek 'plant destroyer') species are microscopic, fungus-like organisms. After honey fungus, Phytophthora root rot is arguably the most common cause of root and stem base decay of a wide range of trees, shrubs & plants. The species causing root and stem base decay are found within the soil, where they may survive for many years in the absence of a host plant. The organism attacks the root system and reduces the root area available for water and nutrient uptake and therefore above ground symptoms often mimic water/ environmental stress. There are a number of different Phytophthora species, all causing very similar symptoms. Potato seed, herbaceous perennials, bedding plants, soft fruits, pot plants and even bulbs can also be affected, in addition to woody plants. There are often no definitive above ground signs of infection - particularly in the early stages - so taking samples for laboratory testing has been critical for detection and management. Consequently, the availability of a rapid & accurate field test for Phytophthora is a very useful tool indeed.
An early diagnosis allows you to take action & save time, money, and crop. The test involves simply gathering a sample ofliving material from the plant i.e. leaf, phloem tissue, stem or root;
· Add to the buffer solution provided
(which also includes several ball
bearings to macerate the tissue)
· Shake vigorously for approximately a
couple of minutes
· Allow the solution to settle and add 2 drops of the liquid onto your test strip. Result displayed within IO minutes.
· Only one test per plant will be
conclusive if the correct testing
procedure is followed.
The Most Important Advantages Of All
Profit margins are being squeezed across all industries for a variety of well-documented reasons. As a result, streamlined and cost-effective processes and procedures are sought to assist in achieving healthy profit margins. It is in this area where rapid tests could benefit those looking to reduce the cost of plant disease management and streamline their activities with the introduction of an easy-to-use and efficient testing tool.
In-field decision making
Because rapid tests produce in-field results in minutes, management strategies can be implemented faster than if a sample was sent to the lab. This quick decision making could be a clear advantage when attempting to maintain yield.
Lower cost per sample
Because a rapid test eliminates the need to send every sample to the lab, the cost per sample can be reduced. For example, if you need to test ten samples, the cost oflaboratory testing could reach £100s. Testing ten samples with a rapid test would cost less than £100.