Dr Suzanne McKay, Senior Research Officer, Crop Sciences, SARDI, attended the 19th Reinhardsbrunn symposium: “Modern fungicides and anti-fungal compounds”, held in Friedrichroda, Germany, April 7-11, 2019. The majority of the symposium focussed on aspects of fungicide resistance, including monitoring, risk assessment, molecular mechanisms, management and regulation. Other topics focussed on biorational fungicides/biocontrol, new technologies and applications, and new fungicides. Attendance at the symposium was preceded by a visit to the field headquarters of BASF at Limburgerhof, Germany. Here, Dr McKay spent time in the Fungicide Resistance research groups’ laboratories, led by Dr Gerd Stammler, discussing issues concerning fungicide resistance and observing their resistance testing methods for several plant-pathogen systems including grapevine powdery mildew.
The Reinhardsbrunn symposium: “Modern fungicides and anti-fungal compounds” is held every three years in Friedrichroda, Germany. The symposium brings together scientists from academia, world-leading research institutes and industry all working in the area of fungicides.
The 19th symposium, held from 7 to 11th of April, 2019, attracted over 160 delegates from 23 countries, including four delegates from Australia. Eight of the 11 sessions were dedicated to aspects of fungicide resistance, and the other three covered biorational fungicides/biocontrol, new technologies and applications, and new fungicides. Dr Suzanne McKay, Senior Research Officer, Crop Sciences, SARDI, presented results of her research into fungicide resistance in powdery mildew of grapevines, part of the Wine Australia funded project SAR1702-1.2. Although much of the content of the symposium around the topic of resistance was about cereal pathogens, in particular Zymoseptoria tritici (Septoria leaf blotch of wheat), Pyrenophora teres (barley net blotch), and Phakopsora pachyrhizi (Asian soybean rust), the findings and outcomes are translatable to other pathosystems. Many European countries, USA and Brazil have resistance detection and monitoring research programs, frequently in collaboration with chemical companies. Most monitoring is carried out by detection or quantification of characterised resistance genotypes, commonly genetic mutations. The use of smart trap technologies, integrated with portable real-time sequencing tools, shows potential for use in resistance detection and monitoring. Worldwide incidence of resistance for many fungicide groups including the widely used Demethylation Inhibitors (DMIs) is increasing and spreading, as is the scientific understanding of the complexity of associated resistance mechanisms for the Succinate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors (FRAC group 7), Quinone inside Inhibitors (QiI, FRAC group 21) and QoSI (Quinone inside Inhibitors, FRAC group 45) were presented. Resistance management remains challenging, however, collaboration among chemical companies, research institutions and agricultural enterprises is driving research to improve understanding of resistance mechanism and improve management strategies. Data modelling to predict resistance risk is also contributing to the improvement of resistance management. Novel technologies to improve the effective delivery of fungicides, understand fitness costs in resistant cells and determine resistance mechanisms were also presented. A new DMI fungicide Revysol® from BASF, used for grape powdery mildew, is targeted for release in 2019/20 into Europe and has recently undergone APVMA assessment for approval for release in Australia.
Prior to the symposium, Dr McKay visited the field laboratories of BASF at Limburgerhof, Germany. Her visit was hosted by Dr Gerd Stammler, Principal Scientist of the Fungicide Resistance Research area. Dr Stammler and his team have been working on fungicide resistance of powdery mildew for many years and are very collaborative and readily share knowledge and techniques.
It is essential that Australian researchers working in disease management using fungicides and related chemicals attend this symposium. It is the main forum worldwide for academic and applied researchers as well as representatives from chemical companies to share new knowledge about fungicides. Attendees readily share knowledge and expertise, and present and discuss new developments in a collegiate and collaborative manner. Contacts with leading researchers in this area were maintained and developed, providing additional benefit for future collaboration. The exposure to all aspects of research relating to fungicides, particularly resistance, will continue to benefit a wide range of Australian agricultural industries, in this case the Wine Industry.