Research

Wireworms

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Investigating wireworm species composition in southern Idaho and evaluating ecological factors (natural and human-induced), which may predict both patterns of species distribution and the extent of crop damage, are key aspects of this area of research. In a collaborative approach, we are also evaluating efficacy of biological control agents against wireworms. Our projects are supported by USDA-ARS-NIFA, Idaho Wheat Commission and Idaho Barley Commission.

Hessian flies

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Hessian flies have been a continuous threat to the spring wheat production of the Pacific Northwest region. For more than a decade, Host Plant Resistance Laboratory has been working with the University of Idaho and Washington State Wheat Breeding programs to screen thousands of genotypes and identify sources of resistance to Hessian flies. The impact of such efforts is now reflected in significantly reduced losses to this pest despite of its presence in large numbers. Recently merged with the Idaho IPM Laboratory, Hessian fly host resistance research will continue to maintain sustainability of our management approach by identifying new sources of resistance in both winter and spring wheat germplasm. Support for this program is provided by the Washington Grain and the Idaho Wheat Commissions.

Barley yellow dwarf disease

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Our research on Barley yellow dwarf virus is focused on, i Evaluating the degree of susceptibility and physiological responses of several commonly planted winter wheat cultivars, at different developmental stages, to BYDV infection, ii Quantifying BYDV transmission efficiency from wild alternative hosts to cultivated cereals by the bird cherry-oat aphid vector. BYDV research in our program is supported by the Idaho Wheat Commission.  

Zebra Chip disease

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Identifying potential sources of resistance and/or tolerance to Zebra Chip and post-harvest disease progress are the main areas of our research on this disease complex. Our objectives are achieved through quantifying vector-plant-pathogen interactions during host development and pathogen-potato tuber interaction post-harvest. Our zebra chip studies are supported by the PNW Potato Consortium and USDA-ARS-NIFA.