• Plant Health Centre

    International Year of Plant Health

    To mark the UN’s International Year of Plant Health, we have launched a set of 5 Key Principles, which outline important steps to protect Scotland’s plant resources.  We have put together an information booklet that details these principles and our Directorate have filmed a conversation to introduce the principles and furnish them with examples. During the UK Plant Health Week we brought these principles to life through a series of blogs or short YouTube videos, each highlighting the importance of plant health to some of Scotland’s iconic plant-based assets.

Sectors

With plentiful rain and long summer day lengths, Scotland produces some of the highest yielding and best quality crops in the world. But conditions that promote good crop growth are often good for pests and pathogens too and in Scotland 15-20% of our crops are lost to pests and diseases annually.
Scotland has a remarkable assemblage of species and habitats with Atlantic, montane, boreal, arctic-alpine, and oceanic habitats in close proximity. However, pests and pathogens represent an increasing threat to these natural assets, and a particular challenge is the sheer complexity of the diversity of the natural environment in terms of the number of species that may be impacted.
The sector represents a major component of Scotland’s rural economy – providing significant employment and raw materials for wood processing industries. Sustainable forest management seeks to deliver these economic benefits alongside important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation, provision of wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation and a range of leisure activities. Pests and diseases threaten the continued long-term delivery of these benefits.
Scotland is renowned for the quality of its private and public horticultural collections, and its rich cultural history of plant collecting, allotments and gardening. Horticultural plantings are of significant economic value, as well as providing amenity, health and well-being, cultural and conservation resources. However, pest and pathogens represent a major threat to this highly diverse set of plantings.

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CaLiber consortium secures £2.3M funding to continue research on ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ in the UK

A new consortium named “CaLiber” has assembled to research the bacterial plant pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, its insect vectors, and their potential impact on UK crops. These organisms are considered an emerging threat to agriculture in the UK and are included in the Defra Plant Health Risk Register. The CaLiber consortium have secured a £2.3M research grant funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the Bacterial Plant Disease Program and consists of researchers from FERA, SASA, John Innes Centre, Newcastle University, Rothamsted Research, and University of Strathclyde.....

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PHC Knowledge Bank

Expansion of PHC Online Plant Health Resources

This project has expanded the PHC online Resource Bank for plant health threats to the Natural Environment sector in Scotland to include information sources for the remaining three sectors (Forestry, Agriculture and Horticulture). Information sources for Forestry, Agriculture and Horticulture were compiled and evaluated, and a Knowledge Bank relevant to each sector is now online at the PHC website, creating a comprehensive and unique signposting resource for plant health information with relevance to Scotland.

 

 

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