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Research Project: Establishing the Infrastructure to Develop Predictive Tools for Wheat Diseases & Support Grower Mgmt Decisions (KS St U)

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-019-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Objective:
Additional information about the role of environment in pathogen survival, movement of inoculum and disease develop is essential to the development of robust predictive models of rust diseases and Parastagonospora leaf blotch. Therefore, the first year of the wheat Predictive Model Tool Initiative will focus on the following objectives : 1) Develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort; 2) Quantify the relationship between pathogen inoculum density, disease development, and weather in small plot trials; 3) Quantify the relationships between pathogen inoculum, disease development and weather in commercial fields.

Approach:
There is a complex of diseases that reduce the productivity of our nation’s wheat crop. The overall goal of the National Predictive Modeling Tool Initiative (NPMTI) project on wheat diseases is to reduce the impact of these diseases on wheat growers in the US. This cooperative effort includes researchers and extension specialists in Kansas, Ohio, Montana, South Dakota, Texas and Washington. This year’s project will focus on developing predictive models for rust diseases and Parastagonospora leaf blotch. Research in Kansas includes: 1) Organizing historical records of disease epidemics in Kansas and developing preliminary empirical models of disease risk; 2) Establishing a small-plot experiment to investigate the relationship of pathogen inoculum and weather with disease development (one location near Manhattan KS); 3) Verifying the relationships between inoculum, weather and disease in commercial fields (at least 5 locations representing key wheat producing regions of the state). Trials will include widely grown wheat varieties that are susceptible to rust diseases and leaf blotch. Inoculum monitoring will include sampling of local crop residues early in the growing season and monitoring of air-borne inoculum with spore traps at each location throughout the season. Inoculum levels will be evaluated by molecular analysis at the NPMTI Genotyping Lab. On-site weather stations will be used to monitor environment at each location. Disease levels will be quantified by visually evaluating the incidence and severity of upper leaves a minimum of 2 times per location and plots harvested to determine the impact of disease on crop yield.