The future threat of PCN in Scotland

Potato cyst nematode (PCN) remains an important threat to potato production in the UK as elsewhere and is a particular concern to the Scottish seed industry, since land found to be infested with the pest cannot be used to grow seed. However, ware crops can still be grown which may exacerbate issues for the seed potato industry. While there is good cultivar resistance (ca 50% of potatoes in Scotland) to species Globodera rostochiensis, helping to halt its spread, there is little resistance to a second species (G. pallida), which has a greater potential to increase and spread. This is likely to have a detrimental effect on the seed industry in Scotland in the future but how much of an effect is not clear. This project is divided into four parts to help better understand the threat from PCN in the future:

• A review of possible interventions to include a review of PCN management in other countries to inform the work packages below:-
• Modelling future risks of both G. rostochiensis and G. palida using interventions identified in the review and climate scenarios.
• Grower behaviours and attitudes to interventions, to include input from industry stakeholders.
• An economic analysis of likely impact in Scotland based on a range of possible interventions.

Impact: A clearer understanding of possible control options, economic impacts of available interventions and the likelihood of growers and buyers adopting new resistant varieties, altering rotation practices or any other interventions such that recommendations on best strategies (including statutory controls) can be made.
Publication Type (field_publication_type)
Agriculture | Final Report and Policy Document

Modelling the spread of PCN in Scotland

Authors: Peter Skelsey
March 2023

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) cost Scottish agriculture over £25 million/year and threatens food security in the developed and developing world. Improved understanding of PCN epidemiology is a priority for the Scottish potato industry, with spatial and temporal modelling identified by the recent PHC PCN working group as essential components.

Strategic Portfolio Centres of Expertise

October 2021

The Centres of Expertise (CoE) work at the interface between policy and research and provide responsive work in areas of high policy importance: climate change, animal disease outbreaks, plant health, water, knowledge exchange and impact. The Centres draw upon the expertise of the researchers of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI), universities, government agencies and research organisations across Scotland. Each Centre has its own style, leadership, and governance, but all have the same ethos: delivering evidence with impact. In this leaflet, each CoE highlights examples of where that impact has really made a difference.

Senior Scientist
Institution: The James Hutton Institute
Senior Nematologist
Institution: SASA
Principal Science Adviser
Institution: Scottish Government
Mathematics and Statistics
Institution: University of Strathclyde
Mathematical Modeller
Institution: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
Mathematical and Statistical Modeller
Institution: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
Principal Statistician
Institution: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland