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David Sparks Ph.d Aphanomyces
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: November 27, 2018

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Idaho Pea and Lentil Commission Director of Research, Todd Schultz told me that Aphanomyces is a mold-like pathogen that causes root rot in peas and lentils. It can result in crop losses of up to 100%. The problem with this horrible mold is that it lives on and on in agricultural soil. So when your land gets infected, it won’t go away. For those of you who are opposed to genetically modifying crops, listen to what Todd has to say: “The fresh peak industry has already developed some tolerant varieties and we are now working on it with the dry pea varieties. One of the things we discovered just a couple of years ago is that Aphanomyces also affects lentils. Maybe we knew that but the scientists have actually confirmed it. Beside the fact that they discovered resistant germ plasm was that the genetic are much cheaper. Coupled with this release of germ plasm we also are trying to isolate the genes that make that tolerance. It is a complicated process because it is not just one gene, it is like four or five genes in three different chromosomes, so there are several different locations. So you find there is some correlation but it is really difficult because it is more than one gene and so you lose that… Anyway it is a complicated process to isolate resistance because it relies on more than one gene.

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