Blackleg Disease

About Blackleg

Blackleg is a serious disease of canola, caused primarily by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans, and can cause significant yield losses in susceptible varieties.

Blackleg Best Management Practices

  1. Practice a diverse crop rotation with at least two years between canola crops.
  2. Scout for the disease across fields to evaluate disease incidence, severity and variety performance.
  3. Grow canola varieties with a Resistant (R) or Moderately Resistant (MR) field rating.
  4. Rotate major resistance groups by choosing varieties that have resistance genes to the blackleg races identified in your field from samples sent for lab testing.
  5. Consider an early season fungicide application in fields where the disease pressure is high.
  6. Manage brassica weeds and volunteer canola, which can host the pathogen.

This video focuses on an integrated management strategy that utilizes the best agronomic practices to minimize yield loss and maintain the effectiveness of genetic resistance in our varieties, our most valued management tool. Video funded by SaskCanola and the Canola Council of Canada.

Monitoring Blackleg in Saskatchewan

Blackleg testing is available through:

Blackleg Resources

- BASF calculator: Blackleg yield loss
- BASF guide: Blackleg scouting
- Canola Digest article: Study shows the value of quantitative resistance
- Canola Council of Canada brochure: Understanding blackleg resistance
- Canola Watch articles: Blackleg
- RealAgriculture podcast: Blackleg risks, management, and a yield loss calculator
- Keep it Clean website: Integrated Blackleg Management Strategy

Blackleg Research Results

Current Blackleg Research Projects

Research Project: Monitoring the race dynamics of Leptosphaeria maculans (causative agent of blackleg) for effective deployment and rotation of resistance genes for sustainable management of blackleg of canola in western Canada
- Researcher: Dr. Gary Peng, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CARP CCC 2017.27
- Total project cost: $91,666,67 – 100% funded by SaskCanola

Research Project: Exploring novel seed-treatment options to mitigate the impact of blackleg on canola
- Researcher: Dr. Gary Peng, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CARP CCC 2019.10
- Total project cost: $247,500 – 100% funded by SaskCanola

Research Project: Mapping and Introgression of the highly effective Brassica rapa blackleg resistance gene Rlm11 into spring-type Brassica napus
- Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CGDP SCDC/ADF 2016.158
- Total project cost: $407,200 – co-funded by Agriculture Development Fund $129,668; Western Grains Research Foundation $138,766; and SaskCanola $138,766

Research Project: Overcoming blackleg disease in canola through establishment of quantitative resistance
- Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CARP CCC 2017.072
- Total project cost: $396,000 – 100% funded by SaskCanola

Research Project: From field to the genome. Application of 3rd generation sequencing to direct genotyping of canola pathogens
- Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CARP CCC 2019.28
- Total project cost: $310,500 – co-funded by Alberta Canola $155,250 and SaskCanola $155,250

Research Project: Towards better understanding of Leptosphaeria-Brassica interactions via international collaborations to standardize the nomenclature of blackleg resistance genes
- Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
- Project number: CGDP CCC 2019.27
- Total project cost: $210,000 – co-funded by Alberta Canola $105,000 and SaskCanola $105,000

*In addition to these research projects in-progress, SaskCanola also provides funding for the Canola AgriScience Cluster projects. The Canola AgriScience Cluster: Sustainable, Reliable Supply for a Changing World, is a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the canola industry. Industry funding partners include the Canola Council of Canada, Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, and Manitoba Canola Growers. This initiative will invest in 7 areas of research aimed at sustainably growing the canola industry. Cluster Theme 7 is focused on research projects that aim to improve the management of blackleg and verticillium diseases in canola.

For more information on blackleg:

- visit blackleg.ca
- visit the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s website at saskatchewan.ca/crops

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