A study from the University of Alberta has identified new strains of clubroot across Western Canada, an Aug. 14 news release said. There were several clubroot strains capable of infecting canola plants bred to resist the disease discovered.
The U of A researchers identified 25 unique clubroot pathotypes from samples collected from more than 250 fields in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 2019 and 2020. The release noted seven of the strains are new — six of which can bypass the crop’s bred resistance against the disease.
“The findings really underscore how quickly pathotype shifts are occurring and how quickly we are finding new pathotypes. And it is likely we will continue to find new one,” Keisha Hollman, study lead and a PhD candidate in plant science in the U of A Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, said in the release. Stephen Strelkov, a U of A plant pathologist, supervised Hollman’s research.
The findings from this study will help inform clubroot management efforts. Hollman added producers must continue to manage the risk through “integrated management strategies” that help take the pressure off genetic resistance alone. These measures include sanitizing farm equipment between fields, and rotating out of canola for at least two years or more.