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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Research Project #438156

Research Project: GxExM Systems Approach to Crop Disease Management

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Project Number: 6010-12610-008-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 7, 2020
End Date: Nov 1, 2023

The new research will initially focus on managing the cotton leaf roll dwarf virus (CLRDV), also known as “cotton blue disease.” The project will have the following objectives: 1. Identify alternative (other than cotton) plant hosts for CLRDV which may contribute to its spread within cropping systems in the US cotton belt. 2. Understand seasonal population dynamics of insect vectors responsible for the spread of CLRDV within the landscape and their interactions with disease- or insect-tolerant germplasm. 3. Identify agronomic practices and management strategies for diverse germplasm for reducing risk of virus spread, disease expression, and yield loss caused by CLRDV.

The funds will be used to study the key epidemiological factors responsible for spread of cotton leaf roll dwarf virus (CLRDV) in cotton. Research will be undertaken on crop management to investigate production practices that minimize crop susceptibility to the disease, which include cultivar selection, crop health inputs, rotation, and cover crop selection as well as establish the relationship between symptom onset, host growth stage, and losses in lint yield and quality. Key epidemiological mechanisms for both the virus and the vector will be identified. On the cotton production landscape, aphid vector host selection along with dispersal and colonization patterns will be studied. This will allow strategies to be tested for alternative and sustainable management practices. It will build on the current field knowledge and strengthen the tools necessary to mitigate yield impacts at the grower level. Laboratory, field and controlled environment experiments will be utilized to build on the current knowledge to better understand the impact that winter crop production and common management practices have on virus and vector epidemiology. In addition, germplasm response to the virus in terms of symptomology and genotypic response will be addressed in order to identify resistance to either the vector or the virus providing a GxExM approach to this research.