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Research Project: Establishing the Infrastructure to Develop Predictive Tools for Wheat Diseases and Support Grower Management Decisions (WA St U)

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-022-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:
Cooperator PI will work other pathologists and agronomists in five other states to develop predictive modeling tools for Stripe Rust of Wheat by establishing a network of air samplers to measure inoculum of the stripe rust pathogen, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, during the growing season in eastern Washington (Inland PNW). Specifically, we will address objectives 1) Develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort, and 3) Quantify the relationships between pathogen inoculum, disease development, and weather conditions in commercial fields. This project will emphasize winter wheat, but results will be applicable to spring wheat too. Historical data on stripe rust severity exists for the past 30 years in the Inland PNW. This information will be summarized, along with historical weather data, to address objective 1. The Washington State University (WSU) Cereal Variety Testing program establishes field trials at over 20 locations in commercial wheat fields in eastern WA each year; each contains a set of common long-term controls. We will install Burkard multi-vial air samplers at 10 locations/year considered epidemiologically relevant to this effort to quantify inoculum of the stripe rust pathogen during the course of the winter wheat growing season to address objective 3. Because overwintering inoculum of the pathogen is critical, the samplers will be installed in September and samples collected weekly through October. The samplers will be reinstalled during late February, depending on weather conditions, and samples collected weekly through June. In total, samples will be collected for approximately 30 weeks resulting in 300 about data points. All samples will be labeled and shipped, along with a sample submission form, to National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC), 1616 Albrecht Blvd N, Fargo, ND 58102, for DNA extraction and qPCR analysis. WSU also has an established network of weather stations, AgWeatherNet (http://weather.wsu.edu/), from which air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and surface wetness data will be collected. Disease severity estimates will be collected from each location on the same cultivars multiple times during the season for use in modeling efforts.