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ARS Home » Crop Production and Protection » Research » Research Project #436468

Research Project: Establishing the Infrastructure to Develop Prediction Tools for Diseases and Affecting Cotton to Better Inform Management Decisions (U.FL)

Location: Crop Production and Protection

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-017-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

The first objective is to create DNA detection tools for cotton pathogens that can be multiplexed and deployed in air sampling systems. The second objective is to establish the association between initial inoculum, disease development and weather in sentinel plots to build and validate pathogen models. The third objective is to install passive air samplers in commercial cotton fields located near the Sentinel plots and capture daily weather data. The fourth objective is to create a cotton yield epidemiology model for Target Spot based on disease progress and pathogen load. The fifth objective is to archive all data, models, and samples from the previous objectives to allow future investigators to improve models and tools and to retrospectively identify invasive pathogens or virulent strains.

The lab at the University of Florida will conduct experiments as outlined under Objective 2 (establish a SENTINEL PLOT with active and passive sampling of air borne spores to build and validate pathogen models) and Objective 4 (Create cotton yield epidemiology model for Target Spot based on disease progression and pathogen load). The small plot experiments related to Objectives 2 and 4 will be established at the North Florida Research and Education Center (near Quincy, FL). Cooperator PI will supervise and work along with the Postdoctoral Associate and Ag & Biological Scientist that will be assigned to the project to collect, ship and/or process plant tissue and aerosol samples, quantify target spot and other diseases that we observe at the sites, as well as monitor cotton growth and weather conditions following the protocols detailed in the proposal. The Postdoc, Biological Scientist and cooperator PI will also work with PIs in the other cotton participating states to organize, process, mine, and analyze weather, disease, and spore density data to quantity associations among measured responses, and eventually test and validate various risk assessment models.