Two Blades Foundation

Crop Disease and Durable Resistance

Plant diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and oomycetes are ubiquitous and a major cause of crop losses in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.  Due to the severity of these losses, major efforts continue to be spent on the development of methods to minimize disease.  Two of the most common methods are the use of agrochemicals and the development of disease resistant crop varieties.  Although agrochemicals are used successfully in developed countries, their cost often puts them beyond the reach of farmers in the less developed world and their use may be associated with environmental damage and hazards to both users and consumers.  Similarly, the use of disease resistant varieties is not always effective in combating crop losses.  Appropriate resistant varieties may not be available, and, when they are, their utility is often lost in a few years because pathogen populations evolve to overcome resistance.  Disease-control agrochemicals may also lose their utility for the same reason.

Durable disease resistance is defined in simple operational terms as resistance which does not break down rapidly in the field.  2Blades' goal is to identify the best available technologies and strategies for developing durable resistance to important crop diseases.