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Boxworth, United Kingdom

Hobbelen P.H.F.,Rothamsted Research | Paveley N.D.,ADAS UK Ltd. | Van Den Bosch F.,Rothamsted Research
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Many studies exist about the selection phase of fungicide resistance evolution, where a resistant strain is present in a pathogen population and is differentially selected for by the application of fungicides. The emergence phase of the evolution of fungicide resistance - where the resistant strain is not present in the population and has to arise through mutation and subsequently invade the population - has not been studied to date. Here, we derive a model which describes the emergence of resistance in pathogen populations of crops. There are several important examples where a single mutation, affecting binding of a fungicide with the target protein, shifts the sensitivity phenotype of the resistant strain to such an extent that it cannot be controlled effectively ('qualitative' or 'single-step' resistance). The model was parameterized for this scenario for Mycosphaerella graminicola on winter wheat and used to evaluate the effect of fungicide dose rate on the time to emergence of resistance for a range of mutation probabilities, fitness costs of resistance and sensitivity levels of the resistant strain. We also evaluated the usefulness of mixing two fungicides of differing modes of action for delaying the emergence of resistance. The results suggest that it is unlikely that a resistant strain will already have emerged when a fungicide with a new mode of action is introduced. Hence, 'anti-emergence' strategies should be identified and implemented. For all simulated scenarios, the median emergence time of a resistant strain was affected little by changing the dose rate applied, within the range of doses typically used on commercial crops. Mixing a single-site acting fungicide with a multi-site acting fungicide delayed the emergence of resistance to the single-site component. Combining the findings with previous work on the selection phase will enable us to develop more efficient anti-resistance strategies. © 2014 Hobbelen et al.

Gough K.C.,University of Nottingham | Maddison B.C.,ADAS UK Ltd.
Prion | Year: 2010

Prion diseases range from being highly infectious, for example scrapie and CWD, which show facile transmission between susceptible individuals, to showing negligible horizontal transmission, such as BSE and CJD, which are spread via food or iatrogenically, respectively. Scrapie and CWD display considerable in vivo dissemination, with PrPSc and infectivity being found in a range of peripheral tissues. This in vivo dissemination appears to facilitate the recently reported excretion of prion through multiple routes such as from skin, feces, urine, milk, nasal secretions, saliva and placenta. Furthermore, excreted scrapie and CWD agent is detected within environmental samples such as water and on the surfaces of inanimate objects. The cycle of "uptake of prion from the environment - widespread in vivo prion dissemination - prion excretion - prion persistence in the environment" is likely to explain the facile transmission and maintenance of these diseases within wild and farmed populations over many years. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 129.72K | Year: 2013

Since its emergence in 2011, Schmallenberg virus (SBV) has spread across most of the European continent. The virus causes a mild disease in adult sheep and cattle (fever, reduced milk yield and diarrhoea). However if an animal is infected during pregnancy, resultant offspring can have severe deformities. SBV is spread by biting midges making efforts to control it very difficult. The economic impact of SBV has been significant with some sheep farmers losing more than 30% of their lambs as well as lost milk production for dairy farmers. With a vaccine launch in the near future, control of SBV becomes possible, however farmers will have to make an economic decision as to whether the cost of vaccination outweighs the losses they are experiencing. This project will focus on developing cost-effective tests that can be used by farmers or vets to see whether animals are likely to be protected against infection. This information can be used to decide whether or not vaccination of some or all of the herd or flock is necessary. The tests will also be useful for confirming whether SBV is responsible for any deformed offspring before embarking on more expensive post mortem tests. This project will also produce information as to which parts of SBV stimulate a strong immune response. This is essential for developing refined vaccines and diagnostic tests. These tools will allow animals that have antibodies as a result of vaccination to be distinguished from animals that have been infected with SBV. This information will be vital for livestock exporters to regain access to markets outside of the EU that have implemented trade bans due to SBV. It will also allow monitoring of whether infection is occurring despite the use of vaccines.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2014 | Award Amount: 2.09M | Year: 2015

Using the laying hen sector as a case study, we aim to demonstrate the potential for practice-driven innovation networks, supported by existing science and market-driven actors, to develop practical cost-effective solutions to sustainability challenges (objective 1). Multi-stakeholder networks will develop technical innovations to injurious pecking and the management of end-of-lay hens concerns based on practice, economics and scientific information (objective 2). A generic support package of communication web based tools, facilitation guides and on-line training programmes, designed to help science and market- driven actors, will then be available to support practice-driven innovation networks in other livestock sectors (objective 3). Finally we will develop policy recommendations that help realize the full potential of practice-driven innovation through multi stakeholder networks in livestock sectors (objective 4). This project will tackle four challenges associated with the need for grass-root innovation highlighted in the Horizon 2020 call; 1) legitimacy by robust practical and financial evaluation, 2) accessibility by communication between producers and existing innovation support actors, 3) connectivity by an industry-led dissemination strategy ensuring information about innovations are widely spread using existing communication tools and finally 4) sufficient resource by production of a support package and policy recommendations that facilitate better interaction of science-driven and practice-driven innovation. The success of this approach to the laying hen sector and other sectors will be evaluated by the ability of the network to encourage practice-led innovation, check the effectiveness of the innovation, ensure optimum use of scientific information, provide a route for traditional knowledge transfer when required, disseminate results of innovation to others and ensure that policy is informed by practice-led solutions.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-08 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2014

Many EU and nationally funded research projects in the fields of agriculture and forestry provide excellent results, but the outreach and translation of these results into field practices is limited. The overall aim of VALERIE is to boost the outreach of research by facilitating the integration into innovative field practices. The work in VALERIE consists of three major approaches. (1). Stakeholder-driven approach. Ten case studies set the central stage for the bottom-up approach of the project, aided by highly effective tools of web semantics and ontology. Cases are centred around a specific supply-chain, a farming sector or a landscape. The stakeholder communities (SHC) represent the natural networks engaged in innovation. They drive the process of articulating innovation needs, enabling the retrieval of precisely matching knowledge and solutions, and evaluating their potential in the local context. (2) Theme-driven approach. VALERIE retains six thematic domains that are at the heart of sustainable production and resource use. These six provide the back-bone for structuring the annotation and summarising activities, which in turn will provide a vast body of knowledge accessible via the Communication Facility (CF). (3) Knowledge disclosure. VALERIE will launch a Communication Facility (CF) for the EIP-Networking Facility. The CF supports communication amongst actors in the field and researchers. Next, it injects new knowledge into the innovation process, by enabling users to retrieve highly relevant (tailored-to-needs) information, based on their own vocabularies. In offering tools for communication, as well as content structured for efficient knowledge retrieval, the CF fuses the advantages typical of learning networks and linear modes of knowledge sharing. The CF will be set up, tested and integrated into the EIP-NF platform, as a generic infrastructure for use by fresh stakeholder communities, also beyond the life of the VALERIE project.

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