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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

White Mold Research


6 February, 2015


Greetings from the National Sclerotinia Initiative!


The recent 13th Annual National Sclerotinia Meeting, 21-23 January, 2015, was well attended and featured reports of significant progress made by Initiative participants. The program booklet is available here – 2015 Program


Although currently awaiting the specifics of our FY2015 operating levels, we are busy preparing for funding this year’s research program.  The Scientific Review Panel is currently evaluating twenty two submitted Pre-Plans-of Work, and the NSI Steering Committee is scheduled to meet in Ft. Collins, CO on Thursday, 23 April, 2015.  We hope to be able to communicate ARS programmatic decisions to PI’s during early May this year.


Please be sure to check this web page – see left & table below – for updates, and please be sure to mark your calendars for the 14th Annual National Sclerotinia Meeting, 20-22 January, 2016.


The National Sclerotinia Initiative (NSI) employs an integrated and collaborative approach to guide research on the effective development of diagnostic technologies, disease management systems, genomic resources, and crop germplasm exhibiting durable resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, also known as white mold.  To date, the NSI has produced no fewer than thirty nine germplasm releases with improved tolerance to white mold; pinto bean (7), pea (5), sunflower (12), common bean (8), soybean (4), chickpea (1), and lentil (2).  NSI funded projects have also contributed to more than twenty five important variety releases with improved white mold resistance in pinto bean, soybean, common bean, lentil, great northern bean, and sunflower.  The strategic deployment and use of these genetic resources by plant breeders, both public and private, will reduce losses to this devastating disease and help sustain the competitiveness of U.S. canola, pea, lentil, chickpea, common bean, soybean, and sunflower producers in domestic and global markets. The current Strategic Milestones and Accomplishment Report as well as related documents and information are located in the table at the bottom of this page.


Sincerely…W. P. Kemp



William P Kemp
Agricultural Administrator
(701) 239-1371





Kimberly K Swanson
Secretary (Office Automation)
(701) 239-1370



National Sclerotinia Initiative Logo

The ARS-led National Sclerotinia Initiative supports 20 different projects aimed at neutralizing white mold’s economic threat to seven different crops: sunflower, soybean, canola, edible dry beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas.  This consortium of federal and state university scientists includes 10 land grant universities and five crop commodity groups, and is led by the Agricultural Research Service, the USDA’s chief scientific research agency.

2015 Annual Meeting
Pre-plans of work are now being accepted for The 2015 Annual Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting. The deadline for submitting pre-plans of work is December 5, 2014. 

Learn more>

Sclerotinia Information

White Mold on Chickpea

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes important diseases known as white mold, Sclerotinia stem rot, wilt or stalk rot, or Sclerotinia head rot on a wide variety of broadleaf crops.  It is commonly found damaging dry beans, sunflowers, soybeans, canola, peanut, and lentils.

Learn more>

About the National Sclerotinia Initiative

On January 20-22, 2004, approximately 80 scientists and related stakeholders with knowledge of the fungal disease, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (white mold) participated in an annual meeting/workshop hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Minneapolis, MN.                               Learn more> 


 Site Links
 2015 Meeting Information
 2014 Meeting Information
 2013 Meeting Information
 2012 Meeting Information
 2011 Meeting Information

 About National Sclerotinia Initiative

      By Laws
      Strategic Plan
      Strategic Milestones and Accomplishment Report
 About Sclerotinia
 Annual Meeting
 Funded Projects

Last Modified: 3/3/2015
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