Phytopathology is the science of plant diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, oomycetes (water moulds), phytoplasma and fungi. It is based on research conducted by Anton de Bary, who founded classic phytopathology with his work on the cause and prevention of disease in potatoes, published in 1861.
Plant diseases are of major significance in the growing of all crop plants, causing high losses in quality and yield. In addition, toxins can lead to a threat to the safety of food and feed. Every year, several billion Euros in losses are incurred worldwide due to disease control costs and decreased yields .
Using modern techniques such as molecular methods and informatics, Agroscope develops new methods for diagnosing, forecasting, monitoring and regulating pathogens. The effect of cropping and environmental factors on plant pathogens is investigated, plant varieties are tested in terms of their susceptibility to disease, and new cultivation and plant protection strategies are developed. The aim is to enable the production of safe, high quality food and feed. In this context, both protection of the environment and sustainable production play a crucial role.