The primary research focus of the Potato Pathology Programme is the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of soil- and seed-borne diseases of potatoes. Diseases currently being investigated in this research programme include powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea), black scurf and stem canker (Rhizoctonia solani), and blackleg and soft rot (Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp.). Soil and seed-borne pathogens are among the most limiting factors in the production of potatoes and thus the main focus of the Potato Pathology Programme @ UP is understanding these pathogens and epidemiology of the diseases in order to improve management in the field. In order to do this, various techniques are combined to better understand disease spread and development in the field, interaction of host and pathogen, and ultimately use this information to provide growers with a risk assessment for the disease under consideration. 

New Publications

Mbedzi PP, Van den Hooven L, Vorster BJ , Van der Waals J. (2019) Screening for Sclerotinia sclerotiorum resistance using detached leaf assays and simple sequence repeat markers in soybean cultivars. Crop Protection 215:104909. 10.1016/j.cropro.2019.104909 PDF
Muzhinji N, van der Waals JE. (2019) Population biology and genetic variation of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea, the cause of powdery scab and root galls on potato in South Africa. . Phytopathology 10.1094/PHYTO-12-18-0467-R PDF