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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research » Research » Research Project #433631

Research Project: Mummy Berry of Blueberry in the Pacific Northwest: A Prediction Model for Primary Inoculum Release

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-22000-041-16-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Objective:
Validate and implement a blueberry disease model using epidemiological data.

Approach:
We will identify 6 geographically separated field sites in western Washington with a history of severe mummy berry disease. Weather stations will be placed in each field site. Where possible, field sites will be selected that are near one of the Washington State University (WSU) AgWeatherNet stations to provide independent estimates of weather variables and to assess environmental variation at different spatial scales. Hourly values of the environmental data, including air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, soil moisture and solar radiation will be recorded. In each field site, 50 mummies (overwintering structures of pathogen) will be individually labeled throughout the field. The development and lifespan of mushrooms (apothecia producing ascosporic primary inoculum) produced by these mummies will be followed by recording their developmental stage every week. Three preliminary models will be used to predict the timing and duration of apothecial development at each site based on the environmental data. The predicted and actual timing of apothecia will be compared to optimize and validate the prediction models and to select the best model. In addition, the models will be tested using the environmental data obtained from the WSU AgWeatherNet stations and the in-field weather stations to determine the regional specificity or spatial scale of environmental data required to use the model. Data will be analyzed using statistical packages in R as well as XLSTAT.