Clubroot Surveillance and Epidemiology: Staying Ahead of an Important Canola Issue

Agronomy Research  Diseases 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Stephen Strelkov - University of Alberta
Sheau-Fang Hwang - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD), Michael Harding - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD)
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Research Objective

  • To monitor clubroot infestations to see how prevalent they were in particular regions
  • To determine how quickly clubroot was spreading
  • To track the predominant pathotypes (strains) of clubroot on the Prairies
  • To determine whether genetic resistance was actually effective in the field

Project Description

A major focus of the research into clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) is investigating the geographic spread of the disease. Clubroot first emerged as an issue in canola on the Prairies in 2003, when 12 clubroot-infested fields were identified in central Alberta. By 2013, more than 1,4000 clubroot infestations were confirmed in the province. Therefore, this research project focused on identifying which regions on the Prairies predominantly had clubroot compared to others, and which pathotypes the disease was originating from. There were also commercial clubroot-resistant (CR) canola varieties, and this study aimed to determine if the resistance was actually being maintained in the field. The results of this study helped the fight against clubroot for canola farmers on the Prairies and enabled the next steps in research surrounding clubroot resistance to be taken. The key result was that a set of clubroot surveillance practices was developed for effective monitoring of the occurrence and severity of P. brassicae in commercial fields. 

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