Rose Disease is Not Sweet
Scientists at Texas A&M University (TAMU), USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), University of Arkansas (UK) and other research institutions are investigating a deadly rose disease called Rose Rosetta Disease. According to David Byrne at TAMU, Rose Rosetta Disease was first observed on wild roses as early as the 1940s, but it was not until 2011 that scientists definitively identified the cause as being from a new virus in the novel genus Emaravirus transmitted by the microscopic eriophyid mite. Today, the virus is killing commercial rose varieties and wild roses.
Symptoms, which can show up as early as 17 days from exposure to infected mites or as many as 279 days after include excessive thorniness, malformed leaves and flowers. Ultimately, all rose plants are vulnerable to the disease and massive monitoring efforts are needed.
“The field trials planted the first year are just now providing data that could lead to developing resistant varieties. We’re up to about 500 different roses planted for evaluation, and previous varieties thought to be resistant are turning out to be susceptible.”
NIFA supports the research through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.
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