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...
tomato spotted wilt virus angular-necrosis-of-leaves-and-plant-stunting

September 28, 2016

Tips For Managing Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus In Mums

According to a report from Michigan State University, symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus on chrysanthemum include yellow blotching and rings, necrotic lesions, and stem collapse.

Read More
cannabis-crop-protection

September 27, 2016

Washington State Outlines Pesticide Criteria For Cannabis Production

The state has also compiled a searchable list of pesticides that fit the criteria for use on marijuana.

Read More
Orius_June 2015

September 25, 2016

Peace Tree Farm Hosting Biocontrols Event In October

“Advanced Greenhouse Biocontrols for Ornamental and Vegetable Producers” will feature advice from biocontrol authorities Lloyd Traven and Suzanne Wainwright-Evans.

Read More
Latest Stories
tomato spotted wilt virus angular-necrosis-of-leaves-and-plant-stunting

September 28, 2016

Tips For Managing Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus In Mums

According to a report from Michigan State University, symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus on chrysanthemum include yellow blotching and rings, necrotic lesions, and stem collapse.

Read More
cannabis-crop-protection

September 27, 2016

Washington State Outlines Pesticide Criteria For Cannab…

The state has also compiled a searchable list of pesticides that fit the criteria for use on marijuana.

Read More
Orius_June 2015

September 25, 2016

Peace Tree Farm Hosting Biocontrols Event In October

“Advanced Greenhouse Biocontrols for Ornamental and Vegetable Producers” will feature advice from biocontrol authorities Lloyd Traven and Suzanne Wainwright-Evans.

Read More
steve-larson-bayer

September 23, 2016

Bayer Continues Its Shift Into The Ornamentals Market

The company has announced its 12 distributor partners, and also recently named Steve Larson — formerly with Color Spot Nurseries — as its ornamental specialist.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

September 19, 2016

Learn About Biological Controls In The Greenhouse In A …

Michigan State University Extension (MSU) and Kansas State University Research and Extension are collaborating on a pre-recorded online course on “Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers.”

Read More
Bees And Pesticides

August 23, 2016

Studies Offer Conflicting Views On Neonic Effect On Bee…

How much exposure to neonicotinoids do bees need before their health becomes affected? That’s the question two research teams look to answer.

Read More
Chrysanthemum Aphid

August 22, 2016

How To ID And Manage Black Aphids In Chrysanthemums

Growers in Michigan have recently been reporting a higher presence of this pest. Here are some tips on how to control it.

Read More
Cannabis Crop Protection

August 22, 2016

Cannabis Group Stays Focused On Consistent Standards Fo…

The Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS), is an independent, third-party, not-for-profit organization, is in the process of developing cannabis-specific standards for everything from cultivation and extraction to packaging and retail.

Read More
Leaf Septoria In Cannabis

August 21, 2016

Three Diseases To Watch For In Cannabis Production

The development of root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf septoria can damage cannabis to the point of complete crop loss.

Read More
Greenhouse Whitefly

August 18, 2016

Vestaron Planning For More Research And Development Of …

On the heels of launching Spear-T, its first bioinsecticide, Vestaron has received additional financing that will be used to develop new products with new modes of action.

Read More
BioWorks Mycotrol

August 17, 2016

New Organic Mycoinsecticide From BioWorks Now Registere…

BioWorks’ Mycotrol can be used to manage whitefly, thrips, aphids, and other insects in greenhouses and nurseries.

Read More
Downy mildew lesions on light coleus cultivars feature

August 12, 2016

How You Can Control Downy Mildew In Coleus, Roses, And …

Downy mildew diseases are potentially devastating to ornamental crops and at the very least can cause unsightly damage. Check out the latest research and recommendations for preventing it.

Read More
Jen Browning BASF

August 4, 2016

Horticulturist And Entomologist Jen Browning To Speak A…

Browning will discuss the use of nematodes in managing pests in greenhouses and nurseries.

Read More
Poinsettia, Heavy Whitefly Infestation -Lower Leaves, Insect - Feature

August 3, 2016

Tips For Successful Late-Season Whitefly Control

Managing late-season whiteflies successfully on poinsettia requires preventative measures put in to action early in the production cycle.

Read More
Cannabis Crop Protection

July 28, 2016

Solving The Cannabis Crop Protection Problem

A largely unregulated sector of the industry, state departments of agriculture, biocontrols companies, and other industry pros are dedicated to helping growers make the right pesticide decisions for their operations.

Read More
Aphids On Older Leaves

July 25, 2016

How You Can Stop Aphids By Understanding Their Interact…

Knowing which aphids target which crops and how aphids colonize and move on plants goes a long way toward setting up an effective management plan.

Read More
BASF Orkestra Intrinsic

June 21, 2016

New Mode Of Action From BASF Offers Deeper Disease Cont…

When it comes to disease control, you need all the help you can get. BASF recently hosted growers, Extension personnel, and trade media to present its newest fungicide with two active ingredients, offering dual modes of action.

Read More
Nematodes-feature

June 4, 2016

New Biocontrols Provide Effective Pest Control In Green…

Biological chemistry manufacturers have introduced several new products recently that offer a range of insect and disease management options. Here’s a look at some of them.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]