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Dr Ruairidh Bain

Research Interests

My research interests are: epidemiology and control of potato late blight; integrated control of potato diseases; elicitors of host resistance in potato; optimized efficacy of potato late blight fungicides; integrating control of Alternaria and Phytophthora blights of the potato crop.

Research Projects

  • 2011: ‘Identification and accurate forecasting of existing diseases and future threats to potato and cereal crops using spore traps and weather data’, ‘The effects of elicitors and crop genotype on expression of induced resistance’ (RESAS)
  • 2011: ‘Evaluating the effectiveness of mineral oils in minimising the spread of non-persistent viruses in potato seed crops in GB’ led by Scottish Agronomy, with BioSS, NIAB, SRUC and SASA. (AHDB-Potato Council and industry funding)
  • 2009: ‘GB Late Blight populations: monitoring and implications of population changes’ led by JHI with AFBI, SAC, (AHDB-Potato Council)
  • 2009: ‘Sustainable and effective control of potato blight: matching fungicide inputs to cultivar resistance’ led by SRUC with ADAS, JHI, (SA LINK) 
  • 2008: ‘Exploring the potential for cost savings through matching blight fungicide inputs to cultivar resistance’ led by SAC with ADAS (AHDB-Potato Council)
  • Substantial funding each year from industry to evaluate field performance and also specific properties of late blight fungicides

Other Commitments

  • Provision of specialist knowledge transfer, especially on late blight, to the potato industry
  • Supervision of post graduate students
  • External examiner for PhD theses
  • Teaching BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Agriculture)
  • Supervise SRUC honours degree projects


  • BSc (Hons) Agricultural Science – Edinburgh University (1980)
  • PhD – University of Edinburgh (1985)
  • BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Agriculture)

Selected Publications

  • Ritchie, F; Bain, R A; McQuilken, M P (2012). Survival of sclerotia of Rhizoctonia solani AG3PT and effect of soil-borne inoculum density on disease development on potato. Journal of Phytopathology 161,180-189
  • David E.L. Cooke, Liliana M. Cano, Sylvain Raffaele, Ruairidh A. Bain, Louise R. Cooke, Graham Etherington, Kenneth L. Deahl, Rhys A. Farrer, Eleanor M. Gilroy, Erica M. Goss, Niklaus J. Grünwald, Ingo Hein, Daniel MacLean, Jim W McNicol, Eva Randall, Ricardo F. Oliva, Mathieu A. Pel, David S. Shaw, Julie N. Squires, Moray C. Taylor, Vivianne G.A.A. Vleeshouwers, Paul R.J. Birch, Alison K. Lees, Sophien Kamoun. (2012). Genome analyses of an aggressive and invasive lineage of the Irish potato famine pathogen. PLOS Pathogens (online)
  • Cooke LR,  Schepers HTAM, Hermansen A, Bain RA, Bradshaw NJ, Ritchie F, Shaw DS,    Evenhuis A, Kessel GJT, Wander JGN, Andersson B, Hansen JG, Hannukkala A, Nærstad R, Nielsen BJ (2011). Epidemiology and integrated control of potato late blight in Europe. Potato Research 54, 183-222
  • Ritchie F, Bain RA, McQuilken, MP (2009). Effects of nutrient status, temperature and pH on mycelial growth, sclerotial production and germination of Rhizoctonia solani. Journal of Plant Pathology 91, 589-596
  • Hospers-Brands AJTM, Ghorbani R, Bremer E, Bain RA, Litterick A, Halder F, Leifert C, Wilcockson  SJ (2008). Effects of presprouting, planting date, plant population and configuration on late blight and yield of organic potato crops grown with different cultivars. Potato Research 51, 131-150

Dr Ruairidh Bain

Potato Consultant

Address: Crop & Soils Systems, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 01292 525283

Fax: 01292 525333