Navigation Links
$2.7 million research award to aid nursery, floriculture industry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded Virginia Tech a five-year, $2.7 million grant to study integrated management of zoosporic pathogens and irrigation water quality to create a more sustainable green industry.

Chuanxue Hong, professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the project's director, explained that the study will help the nursery and floriculture industry become more sustainable, enabling it to better compete in the global market. In particular, the project will search for biologically based control methods for the Phytophthora and Pythium pathogens and develop best management practices to recycle irrigation water safely to protect water quality and improve water use efficiency.

"What we learn will have applications not only to crop health but also to much broader areas, such as water quality," said Hong, who works at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center ( in Virginia Beach, Va. "This project aims to reduce the crop health risk associated with recycling water for irrigation purposes and to answer the question, 'How can we make the production of nursery and greenhouse crops a more sustainable industry?'"

Named after the Greek for "plant destroyer," the Phytophthora genus contains at least 120 species of pathogens harmful to a wide range of ecologically and economically important plants. In Virginia, researchers have identified 35 Phytophthora species from irrigation water. According to Hong, nursery and greenhouse owners faced with a water shortage have to recycle water to irrigate their crops, inadvertently causing these waterborne plant pathogens to affect their plants and, therefore, their bottom line.

"We want growers to recycle water, but we don't want them to recycle pathogens," Hong said.

Hong and his colleagues are examining the path of these pathogens and developing biologically based management strategies that will prevent them from reaching the pump house. "We are also studying how we can manipulate certain aspects of the water quality, such as the pH level, to kill the pathogens, and we want to know what kind of effect these water quality changes have on crops," Hong added.

The researchers are studying the biology of the pathogens so they can use this knowledge to develop protocols for best management practices and help growers design or modify irrigation systems that prevent pathogens from reaching horticultural crops. Although Hong and his colleagues are evaluating whether individual species are aquatic or terrestrial and what degree of damage they have on nursery and floral crops, the research team aims to develop strategies that deal with the Phytophthora genus in its entirety.

According to Hong, an irrigation system that dealt with pathogen problems would have lasting rewards for growers. "When farmers build a new irrigation system and modify existing systems based on the results of this project, they will benefit forever from such one-time investment," he said.


Contact: Michael Sutphin
Virginia Tech

Related biology news :

1. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
2. NIH awards Clemson bioengineer $1.5 million to improve durability of tissue heart valves
3. L-1 Identity Solutions Receives $5.9 Million Drivers License Contract Expansion from the State of Mississippi
4. L-1 Identity Solutions Awarded New Massachusetts RMV Drivers License Contract Valued at an Estimated $32 Million
5. FSU researchers discovery leads to $1.5 million grant, potential new treatment of liver fibrosis
6. Missouri Botanical Garden mounts milestone 6 millionth herbarium specimen
7. New $11 million center to speed production of new compounds for drug discovery
8. SAIC Awarded $37 Million Contract to Support U.S. Army Program Executive Office - Enterprise Information Systems
9. Eastman Dental Center awarded $1.6 million to find ways to prevent cavities
10. L-1 Identity Solutions Selected by the State of New York as the Winning Bidder to Provide Enrollment Services for a Contract Estimated at Up to $250 Million
11. Deep heat solution to 500-million year mystery
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
$2.7 million research award to aid nursery, floriculture industry
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to ... hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is ... treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 ... countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am ... and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... 2016;12(1):22-8 Published recently ... peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz ... of cancer care is placing an increasing burden ... expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on many ...
Breaking Biology Technology: