AN unknown variant of potato wart disease has been discovered in the intensively-cultivated north-east region of the Netherlands, the NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) has revealed.
The discovery was made in agricultural fields in the municipality of Stadskanaal and the NVWA is conducting further research into the origin of the contamination and how to approach.
It is unclear whether existing potato varieties with good resistance to wart disease variants known in the Netherlands are also resistant to the latest variant. Warts have been found on three starch potato varieties - Festien, BMC and Supporter.
Wart disease is a plant disease caused by the fungus Synchytrium endobioticum and the NVWA says a similar situation occurred in 2003, when physio 18 was first found in the Netherlands. This subsequently led to a collaboration with the sector to gain insight into the degree of resistance of important varieties in the area as quickly as possible. To make this possible again, the NVWA collects as much wart material as possible. In addition, an experimental study is attempting to obtain an indication of which potato varieties may be resistant to this unknown variety.
An example of wart disease, courtesy of Bayer Crop Science, is shown.
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