Study of the effects of brassica root architecture and fertilizer on clubroot disease severity and yield

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $325,000
Commodity: Canola
Organization: University of Alberta
Investigator: Stephen Strelkov

Canola is the second most important crop in Canada, contributing $26.7B to the Canadian economy each year.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Canola is the second most important crop in Canada, contributing $26.7B to the Canadian economy each year. Canola yields have plateaued in recent years, despite efforts to increase yield through improvements via genetic resources, plant establishment, fertility management, integrated pest management, and harvest management.

Clubroot or crucifers has become a major threat to canola production in Canada, causing excessive galling of the roots in susceptible plants, leading to diminished uptake of water and nutrients in infected plants. This causes stunting of aboveground growth and yield. In spite of roots being the target of the attack by the pathogen, not many studies on clubroot have focussed on root traits.

Nitrogen is an essential constituent o proteins and is quantitatively the most important mineral for maximizing grain yield and quality. However, the overuse of nitrogen causes soil acidification, europhication and excessive algal growth in water and air pollution, as well as increased costs to farmers. In addition, nitrogen fertilization has been reports to influence the resistance of Brassica crops to different P. brassica pathotypes.

This research will examine the role of root architecture and nitrogen supply on clubroot disease severity and yield in a collection of brassica accessions.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This is the first study of its kind where the root traits of such a large number of brassica accessions will be examined. The knowledge gained will directly benefit canola breeders, pathologists, agronomists, seed companies, and farmers.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Findings will be shared through:

  • presentations at various industry events and scientific meetings

  • Publication of factsheets and articles in industry newspapers and magazines

  • Publication of articles in scientific journals

  • the website

  • Discussions and seminars with canola growers and industry representatives

  • Data summaries to be provided to key grounds to provide guidance for disease management

  • Experimental plots set up during CanolaPALOOZA, Canola Crop Walk, and other grower meetings to demonstrate the importance of roots to disease severity, fertilizer utilization and yield