Research Projects

TITLE: Sod webworm management in perennial grass seed production systems
PROJECT LEADERS: Navneet Kaur, Betsy Verhoeven, Jennifer Duringer
FULL DESCRIPTION: The sod webworm (Chrysoteuchia topiaria) is a persistent but sporadic pest in pernnial ryegrass, tall fescue, bentgrass, and orchardgrass; however, the extent of damage is worse and more frequent in older fine fescue stands. We hypothesize that the extent of sod webworm damage across species relates to: a) differential production of endophyte alkaloids between species and varieties, b) thatch thickness and, c) age of stand and the tillage history of a field. The project has four objectives:

  1. to assess the efficacy of new insecticide chemistries with diverse mode(s) of action against sod webworm
  2. to identify fine fescue and tall fescue cultivars resistant to sod webworm under field and lab conditions
  3. further investigate the biochemical and molecular basis of insect resistance in promising cultivars
  4. survey for the occurrence of indigenous entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) associated with sod webworm populations in infested fields

TITLE: Nutritional and potency characterization of hemp as a possible feed source for livestock.
PROJECT LEADERS: Jennifer Duringer, Serkan Ates, Massimo Bionaz, Jenifer Cruickshank
FULL DESCRIPTION: One of the most significant aspects of concern when considering feeding hemp to livestock is its chemical composition, specifically the presence of psychoactive cannabinoids including tetrahydrocannibinol (THC). As such, there is a critical need to assess the nutritive quality and potency content (THC, CBD and their acids) of hemp from varieties that are commonly grown in Oregon to better understand the time, cultivation and plant dependent variables that could change these properties in the harvested plant product. Once this knowledge is in hand, research surrounding establishment of dynamic livestock feeding programs could be developed with hemp, using animal and human safety as the primary drivers in targeted metabolic studies.

TITLE: Genetic diversity and pathogenicity of Fusarium proliferatum causing clove rot on garlic
PROJECT LEADERS: Jeremiah Dung, Jennifer Duringer, Khuong Hua
FULL DESCRIPTION: Garlic production can be hampered due to soil-borne diseases, both in the field and during post-harvest processes. It has been shown that the occurrence of clove fot, caused by Fusarium proliferatum, during drying, conditioning and storage can result in losses of up to 30% in harvested bulbs. Research conducted under this project will aim to: 1) Assess the genetic diversity of F. proliferatum populations associated with garlic accessions in the USDA garlic germplasm collection and other sources based on microsatellite marker analysis; and 2) Investigate the variability in pathogenicity and production of the mycotoxin fumonisin by different isolates of F. proliferatum.