Samples Needed to Help ‘Stop the Rot’ Project

Brian German Field & Row Crops, Industry

Researchers working on the ‘Stop the Rot’ project are looking for samples of onions plants that are affected by any of the bacteria that are known or suspected to cause diseases in onions.  The project looks to combat bacterial diseases of onions and will rely on surveys and sample information from growers.

stop the rot project

“This is a national project.  We are working in all seven different U.S. growing regions; obviously focusing here on California,” said Vegetable Crops Farm Advisor and one of the 24 researchers involved in the project, Brenna Aegerter.  “We do have funding from USDA, which is great, but we need participation of growers.”

As part of the ‘Stop the Rot’ project, researchers will be generating region-specific characterizations of onion bacterial pathogens to create molecular diagnostic tools and use industry feedback for the development of trials for evaluating and optimizing management strategies.  Growers that suspect they may have a bacterial disease in their onion crop are being encouraged to contact farm advisors to survey and sample the bulbs in storage.

“The Allium Net website, which was developed by Howard Schwartz at Colorado State, it was an onion research clearinghouse.  It’s kind of been a little quiet in recent years, it hasn’t been used a lot, but we’re going to resurrect that and so there is more information about the project there,” Aegerter noted.  “Also, they can contact any of the University of California Farm Advisors as well.”

Aegerter will be conducting annual surveys in central California and coordinating surveys with other California collaborators.  UC Riverside Plant Pathologist Alex Putman and Kern County Vegetable Crops Farm Advisor Jaspreet Sidhu will be working on surveys in southern California.  Surveys in northern California will be conducted by Tulelake Farm Advisor Rob Wilson.  Sidhu will be conducting phenotypic field trials and management trials, while Wilson will be working on irrigation trials.  All four California collaborators will be conducting Extension and outreach throughout the four-year project.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West