Genetic Resistance to Clubroot Already Breaking Down

The Canola Council of Canada is alerting farmers that existing genetic resistance to clubroot may not prove effective in all Alberta fields.

Dr. Stephen Strelkov of the University of Alberta led the analyses of several field samples, and data suggests that some forms of clubroot resistance are “no longer functioning well” against the disease in the Edmonton region.

Curtis Rempel, vice president of crop production and innovation with the Canola Council of Canada says that while existing genetic clubroot resistance is expected to be functional over the “vast majority” of acres this year, farmers need to be aware of the evolution of this disease to prevent expansion of the situation.

The Canola Council advises farmers and agronomists to pay extra attention when scouting canola acres this year, especially those seeded to a clubroot resistant variety.

Similar to how weeds can become resistant to a herbicide after years of use, diseases can evolve to overcome a plant’s resistance. Certain factors increase the likelihood or rate of this resistance breakdown. For canola and clubroot specifically, the Canola Council list the following six factors that increase the risk of resistance breakdown:

  • Canola rotations with less than a two year break

  • Fields that are known already to have high clubroot inoculum

  • Fields that are not scouted for clubroot regularly

  • Planting the same resistant canola variety in that rotation

  • Any tillage that is more than zero till

  • Operations that do not limit soil movement between fields. Keep your soil at home.

While still largely an Alberta threat, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have detected clubroot in soil samples. Visit www.clubroot.ca to learn more about the disease, its management and avoidance and more information surrounding stewardship of resistant varieties.

 

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