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Integrated Management of Soilborne Viruses Threatening Winter Wheat 2003

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Project Leaders:

Gary C. Bergstrom* (Plant Pathology, Ithaca), Mark E. Sorrells (Plant Breeding, Ithaca), Stewart M. Gray (USDA-ARS, Plant Pathology, Ithaca)


Lance Davidson (Graduate Student, Plant Pathology, Ithaca); Mark Ochs (Consultant-Certified Crop Advisor, Trumansburg); Bruce Austic and Henry Van Ness (Grain Producer and Land Owner, respectively, Trumansburg); Janice Degni (CCE Field Crops Specialist, Cortland); Michael Stanyard (CCE Field Crops Specialist, Newark)

Type of grant: Monitoring, forecasting, and economic thresholds

Project location: Throughout the Northeast


Chemical seed dressings and planting date choice were assessed in field plots as potential tactics complementary to partially resistant varieties for the integrated management of Wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSMV) and Wheat soilborne mosaic virus (WSBMV) in winter wheat. None of the seed treatment products that provided protection against WSBMV transmission in controlled environment laboratory experiments showed a corresponding reduction in natural transmission and disease development for either WSBMV or WSSMV in our field experiments. This suggests that seed treatment is not a reliable tactic for disease control with susceptible wheat cultivars under severe disease pressure. Seed dressings may still prove useful under less severe disease pressure and with cereal varieties with partial resistance. A laboratory-based, soil environment model for WSBMV transmission was a good predictor for WSBMV disease development, but not for WSSMV disease development in the field. Relative earliness or lateness of planting is less important as a control tactic for soilborne viruses than the specific environment in the weeks following a particular planting date. Improved models based on the post-planting environment might predict virus-induced losses of yield potential, and in some cases, growers might avoid purchase of spring inputs such as pesticides and fertilizer for fields with diminished yield potential.


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