Microbiome-driven clubroot management in canola

Project Details

Status: Active
Investment: $172,880
Commodity: Canola
Organization: University of Alberta
Investigator: Stephen Strelkov

Clubroot is an important disease of canola in Alberta and is managed mainly with resistant cultivars.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Clubroot is an important disease of canola in Alberta and is managed mainly with resistant cultivars. The emergence of resistance-breaking clubroot pathotypes, however, indicates the continued vulnerability of canola production. Improved crop health can best be achieved through an integrated approach that combines genetic (and genomic) breeding with good agricultural practices and soil health.

Soil health is sustained largely by root-interacting microbiomes, many of which contribute to pathogen control. These microbiomes contain beneficial microorganisms that prime plant defence responses and stimulate growth, produce antibiotics, inhibit pathogens, and alter soil quality and nutrients.

This research will study if resistant canola associates with and selects for microbial communities that contribute to pathogen control, via microbial interactions and genome modulation of the host and pathogen.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This project will provide the firs information regarding the role of microbial communities in mitigating clubroot of canola and improving the health of this crop. This means improved disease resistance and more stable crops. These findings can also be applied to related areas for controlling soilborne diseases.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Findings will be shared through presentations at industry and scientific meetings, through factsheets and articles, through scientific journals, through discussions and seminars, and through data summaries.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.