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Developing an IPM Response to a New Wheat Health Threat in New York: Wheat Soilborne Mosaic Virus 2000

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Project Leaders: Gary C. Bergstrom1, Lance E. Davidson1, Mark E. Sorrells2, and Stewart M. Gray1,3; Departments of Plant Pathology1 and Plant Breeding2, Cornell University; and USDA-ARS3


Soil infestation by a new virus, wheat soilborne mosaic virus (WSBMV), was recently confirmed in a localized area of the Finger Lakes region. The virus has the potential to reduce significantly the yield of New York winter wheat. A NYS-IPM supported project was initiated in 2000 with objectives to assess the current range of occurrence of WSBMV in New York, to assess its effect on wheat yield, and to identify adapted winter wheat varieties that are resistant to both SBWMV and wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSMV), another soilborne virus that commonly infects New York wheat. Through cooperative survey with extension educators and seed industry personnel, WSBMV was confirmed during 2000 in Cayuga, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, and Tompkins Counties on the wheat cultivars Harus Marilee, Pioneer 25W33, and Caledonia. A WSBMV winter wheat cultivar nursery was established in an infested field in Trumansburg. An identical nursery was planted at Ithaca-Caldwell Field which has a history of WSSMV. Preliminary data on virus reactions of adapted cultivars were collected in 2000. It appears that there is a broad range in virus reaction among New York-adapted cultivars. Farmers in cultivar selection decisions should use only data summarized over multiple years. Cultivar nurseries for 2001 evaluation were planted at both the Trumansburg and Ithaca sites, with two dates of planting at Trumansburg. Based on the year 2000 preliminary results, proposals have been submitted to the NE-IPM and NE-SARE programs of USDA to secure funds for continuation of this project.