Phytopathology & Genetics

The Phytopathology & Genetics Study Group is concerned with the study of pests and diseases that adversely affect tobacco (fungi, bacteria, viruses, parasitic plants, nematodes and insects), as well as genetics and breeding for development of new traits with pest and disease resistance and next generation products. 

This Study Group promotes investigations and the exchange of data on the occurrence and spread of pests and diseases, prevention and management techniques, and the development of resistant or other improved genotypes using traditional breeding programmes and biotechnology. Genetic mapping, molecular markers and genetic diversity of tobacco also fall under this study group. The activities of the Study Group play an important role in the reduced use of agrochemicals, both through resistance breeding and through the dissemination of information on Integrated Pest Management. Furthermore, this study group also focuses on monitoring the advancement of genetics and breeding technology to understand and develop new cultivars.

In the Press: CORESTA Phytopathology Study Group (Tobacco Journal International Dec/Jan 2012)


IPM - Integrated Pest Management - 2005


  1. To summarise available IPM strategies relevant for each tobacco pest and disease.
  2. To produce a document for agronomists & farmers, structured by disease / pest, and providing a common outline framework based on relevant IPM methods. This document to be included on the CORESTA website.

VIR - Virus Diseases - 2007 - 2020


  1. To collate and draw conclusions from the viral data (1995-2011).
  2. To publish a report in a peer-reviewed journal.

Work completed - DISBANDED January 2020

XDES - Extended Diagnostic Expert System - 2013


  1. To collect international data on plant diseases, such as pictures, descriptions, diagnostic, available treatments, etc.
  2. To format this information for uploads on the e-phytia/tobacco website and related portable applications.

BKS - Collaborative Study Black Shank - 2015


  1. To test available black shank resistant tobacco varieties in a global collaborative study
  2. To establish the relative resistances of various varieties in different locations
  3. To establish the causal pathogen race composition
  4. To determine conclusively that data received relate to black shank and not Fusarium wilt

Task forces

APIC - Agro-Phyto Information Collection - 2012 - 2019


To collect and collate existing information and to compile documents which will be posted and updated on the CORESTA website:

  1. Compiling details of all known molecular markers in tobacco, published and unpublished.
  2. Compiling experimental results of studies testing the efficacy of alternative products (crop protection agents (CPAs) and fertilisers) - CANCELLED.

Work completed - DISBANDED March 2019

TAG - Tobacco Alkaloid Genetics - 2017 - 2022


  1. To understand the genetics that control alkaloid formation in tobacco plants.
  2. To understand the feasibility of conventional and non-conventional breeding techniques to modify alkaloid formation in tobacco plants.
  3. To understand the impact of tobacco alkaloid levels on leaf production and quality.

Work completed - DISBANDED January 2022

TBO - Tobacco Biotechnology and Omics - 2017 - 2022


  1. To describe and summarise publicly available literature regarding the Biotechnology and Omics techniques and nomenclature commonly used in agriculture in different countries.
  2. To prepare clear and concise definitions of the Biotechnology and Omics nomenclature and techniques.

Work completed - DISBANDED January 2022