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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service



Project Number: 5303-21220-005-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 4, 2010
End Date: Jan 12, 2012

Objective 1: Develop non-chemical tactics to reduce Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (FOV) race 4 inoculum levels, focusing on optimization of solarization methods, impacts of rotational crops, and development of resistant or tolerant germplasm. Subobjective A: Optimize solarization methods focusing on effects of applied moisture levels and duration of coverage on reductions in race 4 FOV inoculum. Subobjective B: Determine the effects of common rotational crops on race 4 FOV inoculum levels. Subobjective C: Develop cotton breeding populations segregating for FOV resistance and evaluate resulting lines for resistance and fiber quality traits. Objective 2: Investigate the population biology of FOV in the U.S. cotton belt. Objective 3: Identify and validate molecular marker associations with fiber quality characteristics and resistance to FOV. Objective 4: Determine collection efficiency and fidelity of population estimates to true population densities for standard lygus sampling methods. Objective 5: Define host-plant relations and cotton cultivar-specific responses to lygus injury. Subobjective A: Define relationships between lygus feeding, feeding preferences, and fruit loss rates. Subobjective B: Develop evaluation criteria and screen a cross-section of available cotton germplasm for lygus tolerance. Objective 6: Evaluate the potential of Beauveria bassiana as a non-cotton season, ecologically-based lygus control tactic. Objective 7: Define key aspects of lygus overwinter ecology and adult diapause.

An interdisciplinary team consisting of a plant pathologist, geneticist, and two entomologists will collaborate with Federal, State, and University investigators to solve the major problems facing sustainable production of irrigated crops in the context of environmental stewardship. Efforts to improve insect sampling methods combined with new knowledge of crop responses to insect populations will result in more effective pest management rules and decreased pesticide use. Definition of pest overwintering ecology will provide guidelines for testing and developing ecologically-based management tactics using diseases specific to pest insects. A survey of Fusarium oxysporum vasinfectum (FOV) in the U.S. cottonbelt will indicate potential risks associated with known and undescribed races. Optimization of non-chemical, environmentally benign control tactics will provide safe and effective means of limiting the spread and impact of FOV. Conventional breeding methods in combination with modern molecular techniques will lead to cotton germplasm with improved yield and fiber qualities and increased resistance to insects and diseases. Replacing 5303-21220-004-00D (10/10).

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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