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Qianni Dong, Xinwang Wang, David H. Byrne, and Kevin Ong

Black spot disease, caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae Wolf, is one of the most serious diseases of garden roses. Both complete (vertical) resistance conditioned by dominant Rdr genes and partial (horizontal) resistance conditioned by multiple genes have been described. The use of resistant rose cultivars would reduce the demand of agrochemical applications. The characterization of 16 genotypes for resistance to black spot using two laboratory assays, the detached leaf assay (DLA) and the whole plant inoculation (WPI) approach, indicated that these techniques were well correlated. Thus, either method could be used to assess the resistance of the plants to black spot. Fifteen diploid hybrid populations from 10 parents segregating for partial (horizontal) resistance to black spot derived from Rosa wichuraiana ‘Basye’s Thornless’ (RW) were assessed for black spot resistance by quantifying the percentage of the leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and lesion length (LL) measured by the diameter of the largest lesion per leaf in DLAs. The narrow-sense heritability of partial resistance to black spot as measured by LAS and LL data of DLA was estimated to be from 0.28 to 0.43 when calculated with a genetic variance analysis and from 0.74 to 0.86 when generated from offspring–midparent regression. This suggests that the development of rose cultivars with high levels of stable partial resistance to black spot is a feasible approach for the rose industry.

Free access

Jennifer Green, Derald A. Harp, and Kevin L. Ong

Phytophthora diseases are economically important, requiring the use of chemical fungicides and, more recently, biological controls. Recent research suggests that composted bark products may lessen the impact of the disease, even in the absence of these chemicals. An experiment was conducted to compare chemical and biological fungicides to untreated pine bark compost. Impatiens wallerana plugs were transplanted from 288 trays into 1801 trays. All plants were planted into Berger BM-7, 35% composted bark mix (Berger Horticulture, Quebec, Canada). Media was prepared by premixing one of the five following fungicide treatments: 1) Control, 2) Banrot at 0.6 g/L, 3) Root Shield at 1.6 g/L, 4) Actino-Fe at 5.1 g/Ll, or 5) SoilGard at 1.6 g/L. Plants received no fertilizer. Three strains of Phytophthora were grown in 25 °C on clarified V8 media. Pathogenic inoculum was made by macerating the growth media and fungi in 100 ml H2O. Mixture was pulse-blended for 1 min, and an additional 200 mL dH2O was added. Inoculation was 5 ml per plant. Flats were kept on a misting bench, and misted twice daily for 15 min. The experiment was set up using a RBD repeated six times with three plants per rep. Plants were rated weekly for 5 weeks using a damage scale of 0 to 5, with 0 indicating no sign of disease and 5 being dead. Statistical analysis was conducted using a Chi-Square. Disease incidence between the biological, chemical, and composted bark treatments did not differ, with all treatments providing complete control. At least in this study, the use of composted pine bark media provided Phytophthora control equivalent to current chemical and biological fungicides.

Free access

Kristen L. McDowell*, Kevin Ong, and Derald A. Harp

A study was conducted on the Texas A&M Univ.-Commerce campus to evaluate the effect of compost type on the spread of bermudagrass into rose garden beds. Roses were planted in an randomized complete-block design in beds amended with composts derived from yard waste, manure, poultry litter, or dairy manure, or an unamended control. The study site was free of vegetation prior to planting. No pre- or post-emergent herbicides were applied after planting. Each bed was assessed visually monthly and scored on a scale of 0 to 10, with each point equivalent to 10% coverage. A bed received a score of 10 upon full coverage. Beds amended with poultry litter and yard waste had significantly higher bermudagrass invasion and reached 100% coverage more quickly than other treatments. Some of the poultry litter beds reached 100% coverage within 40 days of planting. The control planting had significantly lower coverage than all compost treatments throughout the study.

Open access

H. Brent Pemberton, Kevin Ong, Mark Windham, Jennifer Olson, and David H. Byrne

Rose rosette disease (RRD) is incited by a negative-sense RNA virus (genus Emaravirus), which is vectored by a wind-transported eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus). Symptoms include witches broom/rosette-type growth, excessive prickles (thorns), discolored and distorted growth, and, unlike most other rose diseases, usually results in plant death. RRD is endemic to North America and was first described in Manitoba, Wyoming, and California in the 1940s. It has spread east with the aid of a naturalized rose species host and has become epidemic from the Great Plains to the East Coast of North America on garden roses in home and commercial landscapes where losses have been high. The disease was suggested to be incited by a virus from the beginning, but only recently has this been confirmed and the virus identified. The presence of the vector mite on roses has been associated with RRD since the first symptoms were described. However, more recently, the mite was demonstrated to be the vector of the disease and confirmed to transmit the virus itself. As a result of the RRD epidemic in North America and its effects on the national production and consumer markets for roses, a research team comprising five major universities (Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Delaware), a dozen growers and nurseries (all regions), six rose breeding programs (California, Wisconsin, Texas, and Pennsylvania), the major rose testing programs (Earth-Kind and AGRS), the major rose organization (American Rose Society), and the major trade organization AmericanHort has formed. This research project has been funded by the Specialty Crops Research Initiative through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the short-term objective of improving and disseminating best management practices (BMPs) and the long-term goal of identifying additional sources of resistance and developing the genetic tools to quickly transfer resistance into the elite commercial rose germplasm.

Free access

Kevin Ong, Madalyn Shires, Holly Jarvis Whitaker, Jennifer Olson, Joseph LaForest, and David H. Byrne

Rose rosette disease (RRD) was first reported on the North American continent in the early 1940s. In 2011, the causal agent of this disease was identified and described—the Rose rosette virus (RRV). In the last 10 years, RRD has gained widespread notoriety because of disease symptoms appearing on many roses which are used frequently in landscape plantings, both commercial and residential. Much of the prior scientific work on this disease was carried out on the multiflora rose. Currently, the disease issues are on cultivated roses within which no cultivar has been confirmed to be resistant. There is an information gap in our knowledge of the pathogen, vector, and the disease on cultivated roses. Our goals for this project are to seek and identify potential disease tolerance or resistance in roses and increasing public awareness and knowledge of RRD with the purpose of reducing the disease spread with best management practices. Outreach and volunteer recruitment are key activities used to provide scientifically sound information, to establish the current disease range and to actively gather observational reports of RRD to identify resistant rose sources. Elements of these activities include educational meetings, factsheets, posters, and workshops where RRD symptoms recognition is emphasized. A web-based reporting tool was developed to capture observations from volunteers while continually keeping them engaged. It is hoped that through outreach and the collective monitoring effort, researchers will have access to information that contributes to a better understanding of RRD and will find disease-resistant roses that could be used in breeding programs for the continued enjoyment of roses.

Free access

David H. Byrne, Patricia Klein, Muqing Yan, Ellen Young, Jeekin Lau, Kevin Ong, Madalyn Shires, Jennifer Olson, Mark Windham, Tom Evans, and Danielle Novick

Rose rosette disease (RRD) whose causal agent, the Emaravirus Rose rosette virus (RRV), was only recently identified has caused widespread death of roses in the midwestern and eastern sections of the United States. A national research team is working on the detection and best management practices for this highly damaging disease. Unfortunately, little is known about the host plant resistance to either the causal viral agent or its vector, the eriophyid mite Phyllocoptes fructiphilus. Thus far, the only confirmed resistance is among Rosa species. Of the over 600 rose cultivars observed, only 7% have not exhibited symptoms of RRD. Replicated trials are in progress to confirm resistance and/or susceptibility of ≈300 rose accessions in Tennessee and Delaware. Rose is a multispecies cultivated complex that consists of diploid, triploid, and tetraploid cultivars. The basic breeding cycle is 4 years with a 3-year commercial trial coupled with mass propagation before release. Thus, if only one breeding cycle is needed, a new cultivar could be produced in 7 years. Unfortunately, for the introgression of a new trait such as disease resistance from a related species into the commercial rose germplasm, multiple generations are required which can easily take two decades from the first cross to cultivar release. Research is ongoing to develop a rapid selection procedure for resistance to RRD with the aid of molecular markers associated with the resistance. Such an approach has the potential of reducing the breeding cycle time by 50% and increasing the efficiency of seedling and parental selection manifold, leading to commercially acceptable rose cultivars with high RRD resistance in less time and with less expense.

Open access

Katherine M. Solo, Sara B. Collins, Madalyn K. Shires, Ron Ochoa, Gary R. Bauchan, Liesel G. Schneider, Alan Henn, James C. Jacobi, Jean L. Williams-Woodward, M.R. Hajimorad, Frank A. Hale, John B. Wilkerson, Alan S. Windham, Kevin L. Ong, Mathews L. Paret, Xavier Martini, David H. Byrne, and Mark T. Windham

The eriophyid mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphilus, vectors the causal agent, Rose rosette virus (RRV), that results in rose rosette disease. Parts of the southeastern United States have remained free of the disease, except for infected plant material introductions that were eradicated. A survey of sampling points through Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi (n = 204) revealed the southeastern border of RRV. The presence of RRV in symptomatic plant tissue samples (n = 39) was confirmed by TaqMan-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Samples were also collected at every plot for detection of eriophyid mites, specifically for P. fructiphilus. Three different species of eriophyid mites were found to be generally distributed throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Most of these sites (n = 60) contained P. fructiphilus, found further south than previously thought, but in low populations (<10 mites/gram of tissue) south of the RRV line of incidence. Latitude was found to be significantly correlated with the probability of detecting RRV-positive plants, but plant hardiness zones were not. Plot factors such as plant size, wind barriers, and sun exposure were found to have no effect on P. fructiphilus or the presence of RRV. The reason for the absence of RRV and low populations of P. fructiphilus in this southeast region of the United States are unclear.