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Research Project: Establishing the Infrastructure to Develop Prediction Tools for Diseases and Mycotoxins Affecting Corn to Better Inform Management Decisions (Ohio)

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 5, 2020
End Date: Jun 4, 2022

Objective:
For corn, the first objective is to establish the association between inoculum intensity, disease development and weather in small plot trials for gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight of corn. The second objective is to establish the association between initial inoculum, disease development and weather in commercial corn fields for gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight. For wheat, 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:
For corn, the small plot experiments in Obj. 1 will be established at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Snyder (near Wooster, OH) and Western (near South Charleston, OH) Agricultural Research farms. Consultation with County Extension Educators and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association will be made to select the 25 fields for the experiment described under Obj 2. Corn residue and aerosol samples will be collected, shipped and/or processed along with quantifying gray leaf sport and northern corn leaf blight intensity, and monitor growing conditions following the protocols detailed in the proposal. Collaborations will begin with the other six participating states to organize, process, mine, and analyze weather, disease, and spore density data to quantity associations among measured responses, and eventually (likely in year 2), test and validate the GLS risk assessment models that were developed earlier at Iowa State University. For wheat, the Paul lab at The Ohio State University will conduct all experiments as outlined under Objectives 1 (develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort), 2a. (quantify associations among pathogen inoculum density, disease development, and weather variables in small plot trials), 2b. (quantify associations among airborne inoculum concentration on onset, development, and spread of leaf, stripe and stem rust in small plot trials), and 3 (quantify associations between pathogen inoculum, disease development and weather variables in commercial fields) of the project. The small plot experiments in Obj. 1 and 2 well be established at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Snyder Farm (near Wooster, OH), and I will work with County Extension Educators, OSU Agronomist, and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association to select the 15 production fields for the experiment described under Obj 3. I will supervise and work along with the Postdoctoral Researcher assigned to the project to collect, ship and/or process corn residue and spore samples, quantify disease intensity, and monitor growing conditions following the protocols detailed in the proposal. My Postdoc and I will also work along with PIs in participating states to organize, process, and analyze weather, disease, and spore density data to quantity associations among measured responses.