MENU

Development of wilt resistant hops for the czech republic and other countries in the european union

Hop wilt (verticillium nonalfalfae) is a devastating disease of hop that is starting to cause damage in the czech republic. The only solution to this incurable disease is to breed new resistant varieties, which the english have proven successfully but need analytical expertise of the czechs.

For the first time in the Czech Republic, the soil-borne disease Hop Wilt (Verticilium nonalfalfae) was identified in 2017 when it quickly destroyed 5ha of commercial plantings. The immediate advice and assistance was sought of experienced hop workers in England, who have agreed to collaborate to solve this problem. Hop workers in both countries have been working closely together for many years, and have already successfully managed two projects in the Eureka programme. Hop Wilt was first identified in the UK when hop growers were forced to grow potatoes inside their hop gardens during the First World War. Problems with wilt disease then started to become wide-spread following similar orders in the Second World War. Since then the English have been working to combat this very aggressive disease and the only practicable solution has been to exercise field hygiene methods and to breed new hop varieties resistant to Wilt disease. Since the 1960’s, England has developed extensive experience in protective measures growing old varieties sensitive to the disease. Also, England is the only country where selecting and testing for wilt resistance is an integral part of the breeding programmes. These programmes have proven themselves to be very successful at developing new resistant varieties, which are exported to brewers around the world. The objectives of this project are based on many years of successful work in the UK, and can be divided into three parts: (1). Testing current Czech hop genotypes for inherent resistance to Wilt. This needs to be conducted outside Czechia to eliminate the risk of spreading disease further, ideally in England where they have the necessary equipment, experience and the ideal field conditions. (2). Using DNA methods for identifying the resistance markers to increase the efficiency of the breeding work. (3). Development of new breeding material resistant to Hop Wilt. Suitable English genotypes will be cross-bred with Czech material and the offspring evaluated for suitability of growing in Czech conditions, and for brewing by Czech and International brewers. The overall aim of the project is to provide new genotypes resistant to Hop Wilt for cultivation in the infected areas in Czech Republic. The project will provide new techniques, scientific publications and knowledge transfer to hop growers. It is crucial that commercial growers know about the risks of hop wilt disease, how to protect existing old varieties from infection and how to ensure that growing new wilt resistant varieties can minimize further spread of the disease. This will include the best advice from the UK to protect this iconic industry.
Acronym: 
DOWRH
Project ID: 
12 662
Start date: 
01-11-2018
Project Duration: 
38months
Project costs: 
450 000.00€
Technological Area: 
AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES
Market Area: 
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.