University Of Florida Researchers Join Multi-State Battle Against Rose Rosette Disease

rose rosette disease causing phyllody in rose free imageResearchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have been hard at work developing a plan to prevent or treat rose rosette disease, which is decimating the rose industry in other states.

“Rose rosette is a devastating disease and one of the worst things to come along,” says Gary Knox, Professor of Environmental Horticulture and Extension Specialist in nursery crops. “So, we joined a multistate comprehensive project to find a management plan.”

The challenge is in detecting the virus before symptoms arrive, Knox says.

“A nursery might not know it has the disease and sell rose plants to unsuspecting customers. Months later, the disease shows up,” he says. “The major issue is being able to detect the virus before it shows up.”

Rose rosette is caused by an Eriophyid mite called Phyllocoptes fructiphilus, which transmits the virus, says Mathews Paret, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center. The virus causes roses to have excessive thorn production, leaf distortion, and excessive branch development, known as witches broom, and will eventually kill the plant.

Rose rosette disease spread from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast over several decades and is poised to obliterate the rose industry because there is no known effective treatment, Paret says. Currently, the USDA, through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative, has extended a $3.3 million research grant to a 17-member group headed by David Byrne of Texas A&M University to fight rose rosette disease.

At UF/IFAS, Paret is leading a group of researchers in searching for methods to manage rose rosette. Paret and his team are developing techniques to detect low levels of the virus in the plant.

“The goal is to detect the virus in non-symptomatic plants utilizing a rapid field-based assay,” he says.

Industry experts and organizations are eager to work with UF/IFAS researchers to find an effective management plan. Some of the preliminary studies were funded by the Florida Nursery Growers’ and Landscape Association, Knox says. Meanwhile, wholesale nursery growers have donated plants, labor, and expertise to the experiments, he says.

“They are anxious for us to develop options for managing this virus, because this disease is doing serious harm in the rest of the country,” Knox says. Rose production is a $400 million annual business in the U.S., he says. Florida is the fourth largest producer of roses in the U.S.

Now, Paret and his team are trying to develop a field-based detection system to find the virus early.

“We need a technique where we can go to the field and test leaves in the field,” Paret says. “The virus has not been established in Florida and needs to be detected and managed effectively before it settles in.”

In addition, Paret is looking at new compounds for preventing or managing the disease. The team is treating plants with compounds that would potentially help plants defend themselves better against the virus, Paret says.

“We are trying to reduce the severity of the symptoms,” he says.

As of today, rose rosette disease is not present in Florida as all the infected plants in the three counties in Florida were detected early by Paret and team, and subsequently destroyed by the Division of Plant Industry.

These immediate responses by the University of Florida research team, and continued monitoring for any new introductions, has been successful so far in preventing establishment of the disease and the pathogen in Florida.

The disease and the pathogen is already present in landscape roses in many counties in North Georgia, based on information from Jean Williams-Woodward, an Associate Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia.

“Continued monitoring of Florida roses at wholesale production, retail sales and landscape is extremely critical for preventing establishment of rose rosette virus, a highly destructive virus in Florida,” Paret says.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

5 comments on “University Of Florida Researchers Join Multi-State Battle Against Rose Rosette Disease

  1. Firtunately we do not have this disease on Australia. Also your picture is of R Viridiflora which is an ancient mutation possibly from Old Blush. It was much prized in the forbidden city and also as a warning signal the Underground Railroad conductors wore it on their lapel.

  2. In my experience RRD is frequently spread by dirty pruning tools. It’s necessary in my area (Tennessee) to sterilize pruners when moving from one plant to the next to ensure the sap from an infected but not yet displaying symptoms rose isn’t put in contact with it’s healthy neighbor.

  3. Why is this article illustrated with a picture of the green rose, R. chinensis, var. viridiflora from Wikimedia Commons? Was there no picture of RRD?

More From Crop Inputs...
Recyclable Horticulture Plastic Containers

August 15, 2017

How to Know Which Plastic Containers You Can Recycle

Michigan State University’s Garrett Owen offers tips to help you properly dispose of plastic containers, flats, and trays.

Read More
Aphids On Older Leaves

August 8, 2017

OHP Launches New Insecticidal Soap, Gains New Registration for Another Insecticide in California

OHP is making two new crop protection tools available to greenhouse growers: Kopa, an insecticidal soap, and California registration for Ancora, a microbial insecticide.

Read More
Houweling's Tomatoes' Mona Greenhouse

August 1, 2017

How to ID Food Safety Hazards When Growing Greenhouse Vegetables

Greenhouse vegetables are a potentially lucrative market for ornamental growers, but food safety is a constant risk. Here’s a step-by-step plan for addressing food safety concerns.

Read More
Latest Stories
Aphids

July 7, 2017

New Tools for Your Crop Protection Arsenal in the Green…

Over the past few months, crop protection companies have developed several new products designed to help you manage a wide range of insect and disease pests. Here’s a look at some of them.

Read More
Yellow Stick Card for thrips

July 5, 2017

Tips From a Top 100 Grower for Effective Thrips Control

A combination of conventional materials and biologicals can help provide season-long management of thrips in hanging baskets.

Read More
Primula acaulis, Botrytis, Disease, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

May 30, 2017

BioWorks Launches New Biofungicide for Botrytis Control

BotryStop was developed for the control of pathogens such as Botrytis, Sclerotinia, and Monilinia in several crops, including ornamentals.

Read More
Adult Aphidoletes in web - Feature

May 27, 2017

How to Overcome Biocontrol Challenges by Thinking Outsi…

With a little creative thinking and adjustments to your strategy, you can overcome your greenhouse biocontrol challenges.

Read More
Cannabis Seedling

May 20, 2017

Biocontrols: A Practical Option for Cannabis

With limited options for chemical pest control, cannabis growers are incorporating biocontrols into their integrated pest management programs. More education will cement this solution as a viable option in this emerging market.

Read More
Christmas Cactus

May 18, 2017

How to Increase Branching and Flower Bud Production of …

Based on research completed at North Carolina State University, here are some methods for increasing branching and flower bud production of Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii).

Read More
Herbicide Drift in the Greenhouse

May 15, 2017

How to Identify and Mitigate Herbicide Contamination in…

Herbicides applied off-site or within the greenhouse can significantly damage ornamental and edible crops. Beth Scheckelhoff, an Extension Educator for Greenhouse Systems at The Ohio State University, provides some examples and basic recommendations for mitigating and preventing herbicide contamination and injury in the future.

Read More

May 4, 2017

Bayer Altus Update: Neonic Insect Control Alternative N…

Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.

Read More
Bumblebees

May 2, 2017

Pollinator Update: The Bumblebee on the Endangered List…

With plenty of attention being placed on pollinator health around the country and the world, here’s what you need to know.

Read More
Florikan Space Technology Hall of Fame

April 25, 2017

Out-Of-This-World Plant Nutrition: Fertilizer Company I…

NASA scientists are growing vegetables on the International Space Station using Florikan’s controlled release fertilizer.

Read More
OHP Biosolutions

April 8, 2017

OHP Enters Biocontrols Market With New Product Line

The OHP Biosolutions program will feature insecticides, fungicides, and other products designed to address the expanding segment of growers who use biological products.

Read More
Dramm Low Volume Coldfogger Sprayer

April 2, 2017

Dramm Upgrades Its Coldfogger Low-Volume Sprayer to Imp…

Dramm recently updated its Coldfogger, a targeted low-volume sprayer, to a new model that offers a more durable pump that is easier to use and allows for the use of corrosive chemistries.

Read More

March 20, 2017

AgBiome’s New Zio Biofungicide Receives EPA Regis…

The new biofungicide is the first product from AgBiome, and will be marketed by SePRO Corp. in the ornamentals market.

Read More
Oat Grass Banker System feature

March 20, 2017

How You Can Market the Benefits of Biocontrols

Educating retailers and end consumers about the use of biocontrols and why it’s important has helped Fessler Nursery gain new customers and profits.

Read More

February 28, 2017

OHP Launches New Ovicide/Miticide, Announces Partnershi…

Applause is a new miticide that targets eggs and immature stages of several mite species. Through the Vestaron partnership, OHP will market Spear-O, a toxin-derived bioinsecticide.

Read More

February 26, 2017

AgBiome Will Enter the Ornamentals Market With a New Bi…

AgBiome, a young company with teammates steeped in decades of experience in the crop protection world, sees an opportunity to bring products to market that fill the existing gaps in plant protection. The company has partnered with SePRO to market and distribute Zio, a biological fungicide expecting EPA registration this spring.

Read More
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus on Osteospormum

February 23, 2017

4 Pathogens to Prepare For in 2017

Early detection of disease and virus symptoms in the greenhouse is critical. One expert says there are a few pathogens in particular that growers should be monitoring.

Read More
Boxwood Blight

February 7, 2017

Boxwood Blight Detection in Illinois Has Growers on Ale…

Symptoms of boxwood blight, which can spread quickly in production facilities, include leaf spots, stem cankers, and defoliation.

Read More