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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #435670

Research Project: Development of Preseason Risk Prediction Models to Facilitate Areawide Pest Management of Whitefly-transmitted Viruses of Vegetables

Location: Vegetable Research

Project Number: 6080-22000-031-002-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Develop preseason risk-prediction models for whitefly-transmitted viruses, and deliver as a user-friendly tool as a smartphone app and with web-based access, that can be used as the basis for areawide pest management. Research at U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL) will be to determine if any of the commercial watermelon varieties and PI are resistant to cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV).

Vegetable production in the southeastern states is regularly threatened by whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) and whitefly-transmitted viruses. Epidemics of whitefly-transmitted viruses tend to be episodic, appearing sometimes for just a single field season, but often persisting over multiple seasons. Generally it is not clear what drives these episodes and it is difficult to predict which virus (or viruses) will be most prevalent and how severe it will be. But a recent and severe resurgence has been developing over the last two years that has growers on edge. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a disease and pest management strategy that utilizes a risk prediction model to provide a pre-planting (preseason) assessment of the risk of whitefly-transmitted viruses and to lay the foundation for an areawide pest management program for whitefly-transmitted viruses of vegetables. Researchers at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL) have identified several new sources of resistance to cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV) in watermelon accessions. As a part of this project we will evaluate if these are resistance under filed conditions at different locations in the southeast (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida) and also conduct growth chamber studies to confirm resistance.