BLUEBERRY AND CRANBERRY DISEASE, BREEDING AND INSECT MANAGEMENT

Project Details

Description

This proposal has three levels of organization where we will: 1) Develop cultural, biorational, and precision management methods aimed at locating and reducing losses to cranberry and blueberry crop production due to disease, insect and climatic factors while minimizing the use of chemical control; 2) Increase levels of genetic resistance to insects and diseases, improve fruit quality and productivity through genetic enhancement; and 3) Identify and utilize the phytochemical potential of these two crop species for both agronomic and human health benefits. Traditional breeding and selection cycle methods will be used for blueberry and cranberry cultivar development. Germplasm and progenies will continue to be screened for novel and enhanced fruit phenolic profiles, pest resistance, and other traits of interest. Phytochemical studies targeting health benefits and identifying healthful components of the cranberry fruit for treating human pathogens such as E. coli will be conducted, as well as research to find biochemical mechanisms for disease and insect resistance. Insect management research will develop IPM strategies such as biological control with insecticidal nematodes, pheromone-based trapping systems, mating disruption, and development of degree-day models. Basic biology, behavior, and seasonal life history of oriental beetle and plum curculio, two major pests, will be investigated. Novel, selective, reduced risk insecticides will be evaluated leading to registration for use in blueberries and cranberries. Disease management research will develop precision-based methods including GIS, GPS and remote sensing to detect and quantify crop loss, and to design implementation maps for cultural control methods such as drainage systems and irrigation timing. In addition, crop loss assessments will provide growers with economic information on specific diseases. Concurrently, plant phenology-based disease prediction models are under development for improved spray timing and will target two diseases, cranberry fruit rot and blueberry anthracnose. The expected outcomes/impacts of this project will be an increase in growers adoption of the proposed new technologies and management practices for pest control, and an increase in the amount of acreage planted with the new Rutgers cranberry varieties will be measurement of their adoption among growers. Anticipated benefits include better pest protection, lower pesticide use, greater adoption of reduced-risk pesticides, and higher yields.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/093/31/13

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))

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