This AHDB Horticulture funded project aims to investigate alternative cover crop options for managing soil borne populations of D. dipsaci and Pratylenchus spp. The objectives are as follows: -
1. Conduct field experiments at sites associated with D. dipsaci and Pratylenchus spp. damage to determine the suppressiveness of biofumigant and trap crops.
2. Conduct in-vitro experiments to evaluate the sensitivity of Pratylenchus spp to isothiocyanates (D. dipsaci has previously been screened at HAU).
3. Key to establishing an effective strategy for managing the target nematode species, is to ensure that beneficial non-target organisms are unaffected and soil function is not reduced. James Hutton Institute has a portfolio of methods to assess soil function and non-target community composition which will be applied to appropriate glasshouse and field trials.
4. Evaluate methods for increasing the performance of partial biofumigation. A number of factors are known to influence root development and glucosinolate release in exudates.
5. Based on the results from objectives 1 and 2, investigate how biofumigant and trap crop species could be blended to a) increase overall suppressivness and b) provide a solution for sites infested with D. dipsaci and Pratylenchus spp.
Through this project the student will receive training in nematology, agronomy, field and laboratory-based experiments and statistical analyses as well as experience of the technical challenges of commercial crop production.
The studentship includes tuition and bench fees and a tax-free stipend at the RCUK 2020-2021 rate. This rate is not yet published but the rate for 2019-2020 is £15,009.