Novel approaches to achieve durable disease resistance

Novel approaches to achieve durable disease resistance

One day conference on Thursday 3 September 2015

Organisation and venue: Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands

Worldwide, potato crops suffer from late blight, a potato disease caused by Phytophthora infestans. The Netherlands government funded a research programme (2006 – 2015) entitled 'Durable Resistance against Phytophthora by cisgenic modification (DuRPh)', to combat this disease. Key-issues in this research are the deployment of multiple resistance genes from wild potato species in one cultivar, combined with a resistance management strategy. Effective resistance management is essential to minimise chances of breaking resistance, to limit dependence on chemical pesticides, and to prevent occurrence of resistance of Phytophthora  for pesticides used.


This one-day conference will present the results of DuRPh and selected similar approaches in wheat and banana aimed at durable disease resistance. The programme consists of lectures, a panel discussion and a visit to a field with susceptible and resistant potato plants from the DuRPh programme.

The conference will be of interest to scientists in the field of breeding, plant pathology, agronomy, and integrated disease management.

Seminar programme

(Wageningen Campus, 9.00 - 12.00 h)

Chair: Anton Haverkort (project leader DuRPh, Wageningen UR)


  • Cisgenic potato late blight resistance breeding (Jack Vossen, Wageningen UR)
  • Late blight resistance management in potato production (Geert Kessel, Wageningen UR)
  • Transgenic and genomics-assisted breeding approaches to improve durable fungal disease resistance in wheat (Beat Keller, University of Zürich)
  • Bananas: disease resistance through genetic modification (James Dale, Queensland University of Technology)
  • Next steps towards durable disease resistance (Richard Visser, Wageningen UR)

Panel discussion on optimal deployment of R-genes from natural gene pools. Panel: Jack Vossen, Geert Kessel, Beat Keller, James Dale, Richard Visser. Moderator: Piet Boonekamp.

Lunch at Wageningen Campus, 12:00 - 13:30 h

Departure for the DuRPh demonstration field by bus

Field demonstration DuRPh

(Grebbedijk, Wageningen: 14.00 - 17.00 h)

  • Introduction to the demonstration design (Geert Kessel)
  • Field visits in groups  (Geert Kessel, Ronald Hutten)
  • Discussion, drinks and bites
    - Field demonstrations as platforms to inform about novel breeding and IPM: can this be done in other countries?

    - Regulatory affairs within EU and outside
    - Societal debate: role of DuRPh and other eye catching endeavour

Bus takes participants back to hotels.