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WSU News Plant Pathology

Crop-saving soil tests now at farmers’ fingertips

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences

PCR soil pathogen test in fieldPULLMAN, Wash.  Soil pathogen testing – critical to farming, but painstakingly slow and expensive – will soon be done accurately, quickly, inexpensively and onsite, thanks to research that Washington State University scientists are sharing. » More …

Battle for Spinach: Tiny crop, huge value, no virgin soil, big trouble

indsey-J-du-Toit-WSU Mt Vernon spinach researcher
Du Toit

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – In the Pacific Northwest, spinach seed is a tiny crop with huge value. And it’s in big trouble. » More …

Research identifies new fungi causing ugly disease in peonies

By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences

peony bud with fungusPULLMAN, Wash. – Pacific Northwest farmers have found success growing peonies for a thriving global market. But a devastating fungus called Botrytis is limiting market growth and profits for Northwest farmers. » More …

Vineyard, WSU scientists team up to battle orchard virus threat

healthy vs infected grapesBy Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human and Resource Sciences

WAPATO, Wash. – Something in the soil was destroying Andrew Schultz’ grapevines. » More …

Weathercatch: Weather drives intense wallop of tree pollen levels

Weathercatch Photo LogoBy Nic Loyd, WSU meteorologist, and Linda Weiford, WSU News

We see it and feel it — pollen madness. Trees have been exploding with tiny particles that coat our cars and make our eyes scratchy and our noses run. » More …

Pink snow mold destruction discovered in area wheat fields

Furrows of bleached-looking leaves of winter wheat damaged by pink snow mold in a Prescott, Wash., field.

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

PULLMAN, Wash. – Damage caused by snow mold in some eastern Washington wheat fields has surprised a Washington State University plant expert who has studied the fungus for nearly four decades. » More …

March 21: Symphony of soil signals protects wheat health

By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

PULLMAN, Wash. – High-tech equipment that will help scientists improve wheat health will be introduced to the public at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the Biotechnology-Life Sciences Building (BLS) room 402 at Washington State University. » More …

Researchers tackle impact of climate change on plants

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers are undertaking an industrious investigation into the effects of global warming on plants. Making the effort possible is a fully automated “plant hotel” that can analyze up to 6,000 seedlings in a single experiment. » More …

Researcher fights fungus in apples, pears under storage

achour-amiri-w-apple-tree-web

By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Delving into the secrets of the molds and fungi that can wreck a good apple or pear, Achour Amiri can be found working in packing rooms and warehouses throughout central Washington this time of year. » More …

Novel gene resists toxic wheat disease that costs billions

fusarium-inoculation-web
While a student in 2002, WSU’s Mike Pumphrey inoculates wheat with Fusarium spores before measuring the plants’ resistance.

PULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists at Washington State University and Kansas State University have isolated and cloned a gene that provides resistance to Fusarium head blight, or wheat scab, a crippling disease that caused $7.6 billion in losses in U.S. wheat fields between 1993 and 2001. » More …