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...
mycoapply-from-mycorrhizal-applications-feature

December 5, 2016

New Growing Media Advancements Giving Growers More Options

With innovative, sustainable growing media components, growers will be able to improve plant health, achieve consistency among crops, save money, and reduce inputs, while saving space on storage.

Read More
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More
growing-media-december-2016-feature

November 27, 2016

How The Sustainability Movement Impacts Growing Media

As consumers continue to focus on sustainability, growers need cost-effective media additives and options that produce high-quality plants, all while conserving precious natural resources and reducing the grower’s carbon footprint.

Read More
Latest Stories
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More
growth-products-catalog

November 19, 2016

Growth Products Launches New Catalog Of Horticulture Bi…

The full-color resource guide provides detailed product descriptions and rate charts for all of the company’s bioinnovations, liquid fertilizers, micronutrients, and biological control products.

Read More

November 1, 2016

Bayer Production Ornamentals Hits The Market With 17 Pr…

November 1 officially marked the launch of the Bayer Production Ornamentals business, serving professional growers in greenhouses and nurseries across the U.S. Its comprehensive portfolio of innovative product solutions and support includes product and pest management expertise and a team of technical specialists.

Read More

October 25, 2016

Why Logic May Be The Best Defense Against Q-Biotype Whi…

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff says while you may feel you're in a lose-lose situation with pest control, there are some solutions that can help.

Read More
eric smith Biosafe

October 13, 2016

BioSafe’s New Hort Sales Rep Says Water Regulation And …

Eric Smith, BioSafe Systems’ New Horticultural Technical Sales Representative, has several years of experience that he says will help him when working with growers on critical issues facing them.

Read More
weeds

October 8, 2016

Sign Up For The University Of Florida’s Weed Management…

Participants in the course, which starts October 24, will learn how to manage all aspects of weed management in greenhouses, including weed identification, developing herbicide programs, and the latest non-chemical methods of weed control.

Read More
Downy mildew lesions on light coleus cultivars feature

October 4, 2016

Crop Protection Manufacturers Detail 2017 Early Order D…

Greenhouse Grower asked crop protection product manufacturers to send us the details for their 2017 Early Order Discount Programs and ongoing rebate programs, to provide you with a compiled knowledge resource of all discount offers at a time when you're making decisions for 2017.

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