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Research Project: Est. Infrastructure to Develop Prediction Tools for Cotton & Wheat Diseases & Mycotoxins Affecting Cotton to Better Inform Mgmt Decisions(TXAREC)

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-24-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

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

Objective:
For cotton, 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. 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 cotton, the lab at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center 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 3 (monitor a COMMERICIAL FIELD with passive sampling of air borne spores to validate models and demonstrate the utility of pathogen sampling) of the project. The experiment in Objective 2 well be established at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center (Lubbock, TX) and Cooperator PI will work with County Extension Agent to select the one field for the experiment described under Obj 3. I will supervise and work along with lab personnel assigned to the project to collect, ship and/or process plant tissue and aerosol samples, quantify target spot and other pathogens that infest the sites, and monitor cotton growth and weather conditions following the protocols detailed in the proposal. Cooperator’s lab personnel 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. For wheat, the lab at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center will conduct experiments as outlined under Objective 1 (Develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort) Objective 2a (Quantify associations among pathogen inoculum density, disease development, and weather variables in SMALL PLOT trials) Objective 2b (Quantify associations among airborne inoculum concentration on onset, development, and spread of leaf, stripe and stem RUST in small plot trials) and Objective 3 (Quantify associations between pathogen inoculum, disease development and weather variables in COMMERCIAL FIELDS) of the project. In Objective 1 multiple consultations and publication research will be done in collaboration with agronomist, research pathologist at Lubbock and Amarillo area. The experiment in Objective 2a and 2b will be established at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Lubbock, TX (33.693493, - 101.822998). In collaboration with the small grains agronomist, 3 commercial farms had been identified to fulfill Objective 3. I will supervise and work along with laboratory personnel assigned to the project to collect, ship and/or process plant tissue and aerosol samples, quantify target spot, rust and other pathogens that infest the sites, and monitor cotton growth and weather conditions following the protocols detailed in the proposal. Cooperator PI laboratory personnel and Cooperator PI will also work with PIs in the other wheat 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.