Using precision diagnostic technologies to tailor disease management strategies

October 2018 – September 2022

Tom Heaven

For major foliar and trunk pathogens of apple (Venturia inaequalis [scab], Podosphaera leucotricha [powdery mildew] and Neonectria ditissima [European apple canker]) there is a wealth of evidence, both for the host relating to major gene resistance, and for the pathogen about population-level variation and structure that is associated with host development. However, this information is currently not applied in the field to inform deployment. Rapid single-molecule sequencing of DNA and RNA is now possible using Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT).

In this project, Tom is developing methods for the rapid in-field monitoring of pathogen populations (particularly in terms of fungal virulence), in order to inform management strategies.

Research progress