The fungal disease Sclerotinia subarctica, known to affect both wild plants and food crops, has been found in carrots and meadow buttercups in Perthshire, the University of Warwick reported Thursday.
"This is the first time Sclerotinia subarctica has been identified in the U.K.," Warwick research scientist John Clarkson said.
Sclerotinia subarctica and a related fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, can cause disease in crop plants such as lettuce, carrot and oilseed rape, researchers said.
In carrots, both fungi can cause carrots to rot in the ground or later in storage after they have been harvested.
"Our research raises interesting questions about how widespread this disease is as it has previously only been reported in very cold climates such as Alaska and Norway," Clarkson said. "However, it's further south than scientists originally suggested."