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Combatting Rose Rosette Disease STA RTING ON PAG E 1 4

Are There Resistant Roses?

Getting to Know TNLA Chair Bill Carson PAGE 6

Water Efficient Lawn Care Basics PAGE 10

Findings from Horticulture Students in Texas PAGE 19-26 Green Vi$ion page 27 Notes from SFA Gardens page 29 Bugs & Fuzz page 31

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6 Together We Are Stronger

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TNLA Chair of the Board of Directors, Bill Carson talks about why he’s a Member, what challenges the Industry is facing and what he’s excited for in the upcoming year.

10 Water Efficient Lawn Care Basics for Texas Whether you’d like to brush up on the basics of responsible water use or need to educate your clients on being water smart, Texas A&M AgriLife Water University can help!

14 Combatting Rose Rosette Disease: Are There Resistant Roses?

The Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M hopes to find out if some roses are resistant to the disease, and if so, why. By David H. Byrne, Ellen Roundey, Patricia Klein and Muqing Yan Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University

19 Student Research

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Check out the short research articles from students studying horticulture, and conducting horticultural research, at Texas universities! Pages 19-26

27 GreenVi$ion by Lan Huang, Xiuli Liu, Mengmeng Gu 29 Notes from SFA Gardens by David Creech 31 Bugs & Fuzz by Dr. Kevin Ong and Erfan Vafaie 35 35 37 38

New Members

New Certified Professionals Calendar of Events Advertiser Index

31

7730 South IH-35 | Austin, TX 78745-6698 | (512) 280-5182 or (800) 880-0343 fax: (512) 280-3012 | email: info@tnlaonline.org | www.tnlaonline.org NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

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Texas Green Industry S a f e t y

g r o u p

Get in the Green! The workers’ compensation solution for the Texas green industry.

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*Past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends, and the Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends. Group underwritten by Texas Mutual® Insurance Company.

For information, call Becky Walker, Program Manager at 800-899-3750


TNL A Green

The official publication of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association November/December | Vol. 19 No. 6 DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board. . . . Chairman-Elect. . . . Immediate Past Chairman. . . . President. . . .

Bill Carson, Austin Todd Kinney, TMCNP, Donna Billy Long, TCLP, San Antonio Amy Graham, Austin

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Region I. . . . Region II. . . . Region III. . . . Region IV. . . . Region V. . . . Region VI. . . . Region VII. . . . Region VIII . . . Supplier Director. . . . Grower Director. . . . Landscape Director. . . . Retail Director. . . . Director At-Large. . . .

Kevin Grossberndt, San Antionio Jay Williams, League City Herman Ray Vess, TMCNP, Edgewood Jason Craven, Dallas Jackie Smith, Santo Steven Akers, Slaton Gerry Bower, Weslaco Jared Pyka, Austin Tim Little, Dallas Kevin Norris, Coppell Scotty Rigsby, TCLP, Midlothian Joshua Bracken, TMCNP, Dallas Adrian Thomas Muehlstein, TMCNP, Carrollton Director At-Large. . . . Rachelle Kemp, TCLP, TMCNP, Waco Director At-Large. . . . Dan Green, TCLP, San Antonio

A Video Message from Amy Graham, TNLA President

TNL A STAFF President/CEO. . . . Director of Finance. . . . Accounting Assistant. . . . Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. . . . Director, Industry Education and Certifications. . . .

Amy Graham Cheryl Staritz Aimee Luna Jeff Stokes James Theiss, TCLP, TCWSP, Certified Arborist Administrative Assistant, Strategic Initiatives. . . . Debra Allen Director, TNLA & EXPO Marketing/ Communications . . . Sarah Riggins ,CEM Director, Expo Exhibits and Membership. . . . Amy Prenger, CEM Business Development/Sales Executive. . . . Mike Yelverton , TCNP & TCWSP Administrative Assistant, EXPO . . . Trevor Peevey Office Operations Assistant. . . . Nancy E. Sollohub Region Field Manager. . . . Nathan Flint Communications Specialist. . . . Molly Wallace Sales Specialist. . . . Amelia Price

MI SSIO N STAT E M E N T

MAGAZINE STAFF Editor. . . . Molly Wallace Graphic Designer. . . . Marie Leonard Ad Sales. . . . Amelia Price

TNLA Green magazine is a member service of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, and is published bi-monthly. Advertising information is available from TNLA, 7730 South IH 35, Austin, Texas 78745, online at www.tnlaonline.org, or by calling (800) 880-0343. TNLA office hours are weekdays, 8:30AM - 4:30PM CST. © 2017 Texas Nursery & Landscape Association

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The Texas Nursery & Landscape Association’s mission is to enhance members’ business success through legislative/ regulatory advocacy, education, networking, and promotion of professionalism.

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BILL CARSON OF NATIVE TEXAS NURSERY, HAS BEEN WORKING IN THE TEXAS GREEN INDUSTRY AND A TEXAS NURSERY & LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION (TNLA) MEMBER FOR MANY YEARS. THIS YEAR, HE’S THE CHAIR OF THE TNLA BOARD OF DIRECTORS. WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM AFTER THE NURSERY/ LANDSCAPE EXPO TO TALK ABOUT HIS GOALS FOR THIS YEAR.

Why are you a TNLA Member? Why do you keep saying “Yes” to Membership?

organization stronger, because we are not starting from scratch every year. The Strategic Goals are our road map.

F

I want to expand Membership by proving that the Association is relevant and show the Texas Green Industry that the Association is offering value. I would like every Member,

irst, together we are stronger. There is truly strength in numbers and the more professionals we have working on resolving industry issues the better we are. By being a part of the Association, professionals are able to break out of industry silos and collaborate in new and effective ways. Secondly, the contacts and knowledge I have gained by participating in the Association are invaluable. There is nowhere else you can connect with fellow industry professionals on this level. I couldn’t have replicated this on my own and I sure wouldn’t have the business I have today if it weren’t for my TNLA Membership.

What are your top 3 goals for the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association this year? I want to continue working towards the Strategic Goals that were set by the Board of Directors two years ago and continue progressing so that we can achieve them by 2021. As the Board of Directors turns over, the Strategic Goals provide continuity and make the

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and every Green Industry business in Texas, to know that TNLA is the source for everything they need. The new website has so many tools and resources Members can take advantage of anytime to strengthen and grow their businesses. The (continued on page 8)

Strategic Goals 1. 2.

3.

TNLA WILL BE A UNIFIED ASSOCIATION BY CHANGING ITS GOVERNANCE TO BE STATE DIRECTED. TNLA’S ACTIONS WILL CULTIVATE MEMBERS, INCREASE PARTICIPATION, COLLABORATION AND FOSTER FUTURE LEADERS FROM OUR MEMBERSHIP. TNLA WILL BUILD A RESOURCE FRAMEWORK (ESSENTIAL TOOLS) THAT WILL BENEFIT ALL MEMBERS AND ESTABLISH TNLA AS THE FOREMOST AUTHORITY ON GREEN INDUSTRY ISSUES.

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(continued from page 7) Association is constantly building programs and gathering resources and tool sets that Members can use to help maximize the potential of their employees and their businesses. I want to expand and maintain the strength of the Nursery/Landscape EXPO by addressing and meeting the needs of exhibitors and attendees. I want Members and industry professionals to take advantage of the full range of opportunities available throughout the Tradeshow, from education sessions to business dealings to networking events, the Nursery/Landscape EXPO should be a must-attend event.

What do you see as the Green Industry’s biggest challenge this year? When you ask most companies, they’ll tell you labor is their biggest issue right now. Helping our Members address this issue is a top priority for the Association and the Board of Directors this year. Right now, TNLA Members are struggling to find both manual labor and qualified young professionals to step into management positions. Both are crucial to the success of any business. We need to continue working together, as an industry, to make horticulture an appealing option for Millennials and future generations.

What are you most excited about this year? I’m most excited about what we are doing to involve youth and bring new people into the Green Industry! Over the last year, TNLA has expanded outreach efforts and the entire industry will reap the benefits of those efforts. From supporting students studying to work in our industry with the Education & Research Foundation Scholarships to expanding opportunities for students to showcase their skills with the Landscape Challenge programs at Rodeos, the Association is helping young professionals gain confidence and find success within the Green Industry. I am proud of the TNLA Certifications program, which allows potential employees get a stronger foothold within our industry by showing employers what they are capable of achieving. By reaching out to school teachers and offering Certification programs within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, we are finding new pools of candidates who are willing to learn and want to find success in our industry. I’m excited to see more life and more energy entering our industry through these programs!

What do you think is the most under-utilized Member benefit? The legislative and regulatory efforts of the Association often go unnoticed. I think Members sometimes forget they have someone to call when they encounter a legislative or regulatory issue

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or roadblock. TNLA has staff working to educate and inform State Representatives about the Green Industry and what our businesses need to succeed. TNLA works hard to support legislation that is beneficial to Members and educate legislators on why certain legislation might hurt the industry. It can be easy to overlook the lobbying efforts of the Association but those efforts help protect the entire Green Industry’s ability to do business and thrive in our State.

WE ARE EXCITED TO HAVE BILL CARSON LEADING THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS THIS YEAR! HIS EXPERIENCE, EXPERTISE AND ENERGY WILL HELP TO MOVE THE ENTIRE GREEN INDUSTRY FORWARD. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TEXAS NURSERY & LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION, YOUR MEMBER BENEFITS OR THE GREEN INDUSTRY PLEASE VISIT TNLAONLINE.ORG.

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Water Efficient Lawn Care Basics for Texas BY TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE WATER UNIVERSITY

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s the green in that lawn weeds or turfgrass? Are there brown circles or spots in the yard? Proper lawn care is a key component to a healthy lawn. Basic lawn maintenance practices, in conjunction with the selection of the right turfgrass can improve the health, longevity and value of landscapes while in conjunction, utilizing less water, fertilizer and pesticide. Healthy lawns offer a variety of advantages. They not only add aesthetic value, but also provide erosion control, temperature control and usable outdoor space. But many times, yards are over watered, over fertilized or over applied with pesticides which can have detrimental effects on water

resources and the overall health of our environment. By incorporating the best management practices and selecting the right turfgrass for your clients’ needs, you have the potential to drastically reduce water and chemical use, while saving precious time and money!

Turfgrass Selection When selecting a new turfgrass, there are important factors to take into consideration. In areas that receive less than 5 hours of sunlight, turfgrass is probably not a sustainable long-term solution. Think outside your turf box and consider shade gardening options or other turf-alternative solutions in these situations. Certain turfgrasses, like Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass may handle foot traffic from children and pets better than St. Augustinegrass and Buffalograss. Some turfgrasses have higher water needs than others, so choosing the right grass can save you and your clients water and money.

Irrigating An Established Lawn Remember irrigation systems are designed to supplement the lack of

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rainfall. If you want to grow a resource efficient mature lawn, you should consider irrigating less often and more deeply, rather than more frequently in shorter intervals. • Water without creating runoff • Inspect irrigation systems regularly • Only water when needed, not just because it’s the clients’ watering day • Winter watering may often be unnecessary

Mowing Tips Make sure all cutting equipment is in top-notch condition for clean cuts and optimal performance. • Remove no more than 1/3 of a lawn’s height (or leaf blade) at a time to protect the active growing points. • Raise your mower equipment in the summer as a longer leaf blade shades the soil and helps it retain moisture while helping to encourage a deeper resilient root system. • Consider mulching your clients’ grass clippings to replace nutrients, conserve moisture, and cycle organic material back into the soil.

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• Aerating in the spring can reduce compaction and increase oxygen levels in heavy clay soils

Reel vs. Rotary Mowers Reel Mower The blades of a reel mower spin vertically (north to south) and use a spinning scissoring action to cut the grass. A scissor-like cut of a sharp reel mower can be healthier for some lawns; however twigs and debris can be a nuisance. Reel mowers are ideal for sports type Bermudagrass and some fine-blade Zoysiagrasses.

Rotary Mower The single blade of a rotary mower spins horizontally (east to west) and uses more of a tearing action to cut the grass. Rotary mowers

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are typically used on Bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass and medium-blade Zoysiagrasses but should be kept sharp for best results.

Fertilization An important consideration before fertilizing a clients’ lawn is to have a soil test conducted to determine which fertilizer will work most effectively. Testing soils through Texas A&M AgriLife is an affordable option and can help you to determine which nutrients are needed and in what amounts.

soiltesting.tamu.edu When purchasing fertilizer, the three numbers on the bag represent Nitrogen,

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Phosphorus and Potassium ratios. A well-balanced general fertilizer has a 4-1-2 ratio of nutrients. However, each lawn has a unique nutrient balance depending on the soil characteristics in your area, which is why testing the soil is helpful to avoid adding too much or too little. Fertilizer should only be applied to actively growing green plant material because unused fertilizers and chemicals can wash away, wasting money and contributing to excess stormwater pollutants. When applying fertilizers it is also important to read the label closely and follow safety protocols and application rates.

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(continued from page 11)

Weeds A weed is simply an unwanted plant or a plant growing out of place. There are different categories of weeds and proper identification helps determine the proper treatment. Treatments should always be applied per the manufacturers’ label instructions.

Treatments There are different categories of weed treatments. Understanding their purpose and applying them properly on your clients’ lawns should be taken very seriously.

• Non-selective (sometimes called Broad spectrum) weed treatments are not selective of what they kill, so caution should be taken not to spray the treatment on the leaves of desired plants. • Selective weed treatments are more specific about what type of plant they will control; however caution should still be taken not to spray the leaves of desired plants as the chemicals may still affect other closely related plant material. • Post-Emergent weed treatments are used to treat weeds that are already present. Apply per label instructions when weeds are green and actively growing.

• Pre-Emergent weed treatments are used to stop weeds before they emerge (or shorty after) from the soil; they are particularly useful for treating annual weeds. In Many parts of Texas pre-emergent treatments are applied in late September for control of winter weeds and in early March for control of weeds active in summer. Seek the best time to apply these products in your area. Some pre-emergent treatments may control grassy annual weeds well, but may not be as effective against broadleaf weeds. As always, follow the label instructions closely for best results.

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Insect Pests and Diseases Properly identifying the disease or pest in your clients’ lawns is vital in creating a successful lawn care plan. Misdiagnosing a problem can cost your business money and can be detrimental to your clients’ landscape, the environment and even your employees. Some disease and insect damages can appear similar so “know it before you treat it”. When applying chemicals to a clients’ lawn it is vital to follow safety instructions and application rates. Follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of your employees and clients.

aggieturf.tamu.edu/ turfgrass-insects

Some common turfgrass pests and diseases in the State of Texas are

Pests • Cinch bugs, which usually cause patches of damage (primarily in St. Augustinegrass) and often mimics drought stress • Grubs, which feed on roots and can cause brown spots in turf • Army worms, which strip foliage when present in large numbers • Scale, which forms cottony or waxy masses at the base, stem and leaf axis the damage often looks like drought or nutrient deficiency

Diseases • Brown patch is a disease that affects lawns in early fall or spring. It is a fungal problem that causes circular or irregular, thin or light brown spots in turfgrass. Brown patch is especially problematic when lawns are over watered or over fertilized. • Take-all patch is a fungus that is most active in cooler temperatures under moist conditions. Symptoms often appear as yellowing leaves and thin roots when temperatures rise in the spring and summer months. • Gray leaf spot can be a nuisance disease in some parts of Texas, usually causing thinning of turfgrass. Fungicide applications may not be recommended to control this disease in your area as soils begin to dry out.

m

Properly identifying the disease or pest in your clients’ lawns is vital in creating a successful lawn care plan.

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Combating Rose Rosette Disease: Are There Resistant Roses? BY DAVID H. BYRNE, ELLEN ROUNDEY, PATRICIA KLEIN AND MUQING YAN DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURAL SCIENCES, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE STATION, TX

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How Did This Specialty Crop Initiative Proposal Evolve?

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he proposal was developed in collaboration with the rose industry beginning with the Rose Rosette Conference. At this conference a plan was developed to direct future research and serve as an outline for the resultant proposal. Over a period of months, a research and extension team was developed to tackle RRD which involved plant pathologists, rose breeders and geneticists, molecular geneticists, an entomologist, agricultural economists, marketing experts and extension personnel. The goals of this project are to develop and promote the use of sustainable Best Management Practices (BMPs) to manage RRD; identify additional sources of RRD resistance; develop the molecular tools to quickly incorporate RRD resistance and other important traits into elite rose germplasm; and to develop strategies to increase rose sales and overcome market barriers to the use of sustainable rose cultivars.

Rose Rosette Disease: What Causes It & How It Affects You The rose is attacked by a plethora of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases which generally cause leaf spotting, distortion, discoloration, and defoliation, reducing the ornamental value of these plants but generally not killing them. Rose Rosette Virus (RRV), however, is currently killing large numbers of garden roses and threatening the future of the garden rose industry.

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This disease has been known since the 1940s and is widespread east of the Rocky Mountains. The symptoms for RRD, which may vary with the rose cultivar, commonly include proliferation of lateral shoots causing a witches’ broom appearance, unusual thorniness and reddening of these shoots and distorted flowers. Eventually, this leads to stunting, defoliation and death of the plant. If Rose Rosette Virus is suspected, you can consult with your local county extension office for confirmation or send a sample for diagnosis to the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at Oklahoma State University ($35.00 per sample). Although the disease has been known for 70 years, it was not until 2011 that the causal agent was determined by the Tzanetakis laboratory at the University of Arkansas to be a virus. This critical information is accelerating our ability to study and eventually tame this potentially devastating disease. The disease complex has three important biological components: the Rose Rosette Virus (RRV), the eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus) and the large expanses of naturalized Rosa multiflora east of the Rocky Mountains. RRV is an emaravirus, which is a newly described group of viruses that use RNA instead of DNA for its genetic code. RRV has several pieces of RNA instead of one, is surrounded by a membrane and is transmitted by an airborne eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus). There are a few other emaraviruses that attack corn, fig and mountain ash, all transmitted by eriophyid mites that have been described. Little is known about how the virus is taken up or transmitted

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by the mite. It is known, however, that this small mite (140- 170 microns) feeds on the tender plant tissues and overwinters on the rose plant. The mite can move about 100 meters per year via air currents and has the potential to reproduce very rapidly due to its eight day life cycle and its ability to lay an egg a day. Susceptible roses infected by viruliferous P. fructiphilus develop symptoms 30 to 146 days after infection. This virus/vector pair originated in the western part of the United States and has spread along with Rosa multiflora, a susceptible introduced rose species and now a widespread host of RRD. Thus, Rosa multiflora serves as the reservoir of inoculum and vector. In recent years, the disease has spread onto garden roses via the mite vector throughout the central and eastern USA resulting in the death of countless rosebushes. This has led to a reduction in the use of roses in the landscape. The current best management practices focus on either excluding the virus or preventing its spread by controlling the movement/ populations of the mite vector.

Approaches To Exclude The Virus In Your Planting Are The Following. • Before planting your rose garden, eliminate RRD infected roses (cultivated and wild) from within 100 meters of your garden, as is possible. • Only plant roses that are free of RRD. • Monitor your garden on a weekly basis and eliminate any symptomatic plant as soon as it is identified. This lowers the virus level in your

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TA B LE 1:

Investigators and key collaborators working on the Specialty Crop Initiative Project “Combating Rose Rosette: Short Term and Long Term Approaches� NA M E

SPECIALTY

R E SPONSIB ILIT Y

LOC AT IO N

David H. Byrne

Rose Breeding and Genetics Plant Pathology

Rose Breeding and Genetics

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Entomology and Plant Pathology Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University, Overton, TX Soil, Plant, and Pest Center, The University of Tennessee, Nashville, TN Systematic Entomology, USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL Deprtment of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Department of Plant and SoilSciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK The Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Texas AgriLife Extension, College Station, TX North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL Soil, Plant, and Pest Center, The University of Tennessee, Nashville, TN Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Weslaco, TX Weeks Roses, Pomona, CA Altman Plants, Vista, CA Roses by Design, Bakersfield, CA NovaFlora, West Grove, PA Department of Plant and Earth Sciences, Univeristy of Wisconsin-River Falls. WI Enfield, CT Plant Research Institute, Wageningen, The Netherlands Plant Research Institute, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Mark Windham Brent Pemberton

Outreach, rose evaluation trials

Frank Hale

Plant physiology, horticulturist Entomologist

Ronald Ochoa Mathews Paret

Entomologist Plant Pathologist

Mite-plant interactions Diagnostic techniques

Francisco Ochoa Corona John Hammond

Plant Pathologist

Diagnostic techniques

Plant Pathologist

Diagnostic techniques

Ramon Jordan

Plant Pathologist

Diagnostic techniques

Patricia Klein

Molecular Biologist

Tom Evans Jennifer Olson

Plant Pathology, Genetics Plant Pathologist

Molecular genetics, marker technology Screening for resistance

Kevin Ong

Plant Pathologist

Gary Knox Extension

Horticulturist

Alan Windham

Christian Bedard Ping Lim Jim Sproul Michele Schreiber David Zlesak

Extension Plant Pathologist Extension Economist Extension Specialist Economist- Management Rose Breeding Rose Breeding Rose Breeding Rose Breeding Rose Breeding

Don Holeman Marco Bink Eric van de Weg

Rose Breeding Bioinformatics Bioinformatics

Marco Palma Charles Hall Luis Ribera

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Screening for resistance, BMP

BMP

Outreach, Diagnostics validation, Screening for resistance Outreach, Monitoring Network, Diagnostics validation Outreach

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Outreach, Social Media Marketing and Economics Marketing and Economics Marketing and Economics Population creation Population creation Population creation Population creation Population creation Population creation Genetic analysis Genetic analysis

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(continued from page 15) garden. Experience in Tennessee in an area with high RRD pressure, the disease can be managed with the replacement of two to four percent of the roses per year. • If you find RRD in your garden, continue to scout the area for source plants. It is likely that a nearby source will continue to contaminate your landscape if diseased plants are not removed.

Approaches To Limit The Spread And Population Levels Of The Mite Are As Follows. • Do not plant roses too close together as this increases the chances that the mites will crawl from one plant to another and spread the virus. Mixed plantings of non-Rosa spp. are useful. Both the mites and virus are specific to Rosa spp. • When infected plants or debris is removed from the garden, bag it to prevent the mites from spreading. Do not use a blower to clean the debris out of a rose garden as this will likely spread mites well. Remember, these mites are small and spread by floating in the air. • Mites can also travel on your clothing so do not go from a highly infested garden to another garden as it is likely you are carrying mites and thus spreading the disease. Mites are thought to survive only about eight hours without a host. Therefore, if equipment, gloves and tools are free of rose debris, they can be reused the next day.

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• Prune your roses heavily in late winter to remove the overwintering mites. The prunings should be removed safely so mites do not spread. Apply dormant oil to reduce the numbers of mites still on the plants. Summer oil can be applied throughout the season as needed.

Unfortunately, we do not have the plants used in those studies and it is not wise to assume that all members of any species will be the same. Therefore, we have set up trial to test roses for resistance to RRD.

The development of BMPs is divided into three components: Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Breeding. In this update, the search and work towards breeding for RRD resistance will be discussed.

• The plants will be planted close together to encourage mite movement among plants.

Three actions will be done to ensure good infection.

• Rose plants already infected by RRD will be planted within the evaluation plot to serve as a source of virus and vector.

Breeding Roses For RRD Resistance Are There Cultivated Roses That Are Resistant To RRD? We do not know. Thus, answering this question is a major focus of the next several years. It was reported decades ago that various North American rose species such as Rosa palustris and Rosa setigera are resistant to viral infection and that the Asian species Rosa bracteata is resistant to the eriophyid mite vector but susceptible to the virus.

• Rose plants for evaluation will be inoculated by placing mite infested shoots from plants showing symptoms of RRD on them. The plants will be infested several times and monitored for symptom development over three years. However, specific symptoms displayed vary with cultivars. Any plants that do not show clear symptoms will be further studied to determine if the lack of symptoms is due to resistance to the (continued on page 18)

TA B LE 2 :

Sources Of Resistance To The Rose Rosette Virus D IPLOID SPE C IE S:

T E T R A PLOID SP E CI E S :

Carolinae Rosa palustris Cinnamomeae Rosa blanda, Rosa californica Rosa pisocarpa Synstylae Rosa setigera

Carolinae Rosa palustris, Rosa carolina Cinnamomeae Rosa acicularis (4x, 8x) Rosa arkansana Pimpinellifoliae Rosa spinosissima

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(continued from page 17) virus, resistance to the mite, and/or a tolerance to the virus.

are thousands of roses in commerce and in collections, how do we approach selecting the roses for testing? We took a couple of approaches.

Our goal is to evaluate resistance in about 400 roses but given that there

• The first was to obtain plants of the

species that have been reported resistant (Table 2). All these are North American species except for Rosa spinosissima. We are testing plants from multiple sources for each species and are still looking for more specimens. • Observational data was collected from plant pathologists, horticulturists and rosarians. In this way we collected more than 600 observations. Those cultivars that were observed with symptoms (300 cultivars) were not considered further and those without clear symptoms or asymptomatic were/ are being obtained to test in the project’s evaluation trial (Table 3). This group contains about 100 cultivars representing most major rose classes. It should be noted that these cannot be deemed resistant without further testing.

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• The last criterion was to select a range of cultivars to represent the diversity of the cultivated rose. This group included those with RRD resistant species in their background and representatives from all major rose classes and major breeding programs. This year we planted about 250 distinct roses for evaluation for RRD resistance and for evaluation of foliage disease resistance, heat tolerance and horticultural traits. The plan is to plant another 150 rose accessions for evaluation next year. Concurrently, we are working towards developing the tools to create RRD resistant roses for our gardens. This process involves the following activities: • Make crosses among susceptible and resistant roses to create the appropriate populations to study

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Water Conservation Student Research BY MELINDA KNUTH

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his past year I completed a continuous on a segment of the SCRI Clean Water3 Grant. My collaborators and I had conducted a study on overarching survey to assess U.S. horticultural consumers’ perceptions on water conservation and the influence it had on attitudes and behaviors. To summarize the results, we were able to show that consumers who were correctly observing drought in drought regions had a greater tendency to choose water conserving plants and water conserving activities than consumers were incorrectly observing non-drought in drought regions. Those who correctly observed drought were also more knowledgeable and found conservation to be important. Another interesting area that we assessed was consumer attributes of water conservation. We found four main attributes related to our water conservation (WC) questions: WC Knowledge, WC Involvement, WC Impact, and WC Importance. These characteristics are essential to identify because this shows us how consumers think (their attitude) and how this influences their behavior. We were also able to categorize consumers into two categories of water conservation: active and inactive water conservation. This means they were either interested and participating in water conservation or found no interest and did not participate in water conservation activities. Active water conservers and Inactive water conservers have different demographic characteristics. Active conservers had larger household sizes (number of adults and children in the household), higher education levels for water conserving persons, primarily Caucasian, younger in age, higher income, and higher spending levels in horticulture related products than inactive conservers. This is consistent with past research. Yet, our findings were not consistent regarding gender of water conserving persons, which previously considers water conservers to be primary female. These findings could provide critical input for wholesale and retail firms striving to reach potential plant consumers, especially in drought areas. This could also point to a higher level of environmental consciousness among younger consumers and a higher level of water conserving among traditional horticulture consumers.

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Effects of Biochar and Vermicompost on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth BY LAN HUANG AND MENGMENG GU

Introduction

Materials and Methods

iochar (B) refers to carbonrich material made from pyrolysis of biomass. Preliminary trials showed potential that biochar could be used in container substrate. Biochar could increase water and nutrient holding capacity, ameliorate acidity and provide a suitable environment for microbial activity and could increase plant growth under certain conditions. Vermicomposts (V) are regarded as finely textured, rich in nutrients. Biochar mixes with vermicompost may increase nutrient retention and have positive impact on plant growth.

Seeds were sown on May 17th, 2017. During germination test, six types of small seeds, including salvia (salvia splendens ‘Sizzler Red’), petunia (Petunia ‘Espresso Sweet Pink’), marigold (Tagetes patula L.), zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia), vinca (Catharanthus roseus ‘Vitalia Pink’) and coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Wizard Golden’) were sown and observed for 20 days. Five types of large seeds including pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), corn (Zea mays var. rugosa), radish (Raphanus sativus) and edamame (Glycine max ‘Butterbean’) were sown and observed for 16 days.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of mixes of biochar and vermicompost on seed germination and seedling growth, compared to commercial germination mix (Control).

Biochar used in this experiment was the byproduct of fast pyrolysis of mixed hardwood. The pH of the biochar is 10.2 and it had 4.6 mmhos cm-1 soluble salts. Biochar were mixed with vermicompost

B

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(Pachamama earthworm castings; Lady Bug Brand, Conroe, TX) at the ratio of 7B: 3V and 8B: 2V by volume as germination mixes to compare with commercial propagation mix as the control (Propagation mix; Sun Gro Inc., Agawam, MA). Each treatment was replicated 4 times. Six seeds were sown for each replication with one seed per cell. Number of seed germination was monitored everyday. Seeds were counted as germinated when two cotyledons were visible. After the germination test, one seedling of medium size in each replication was transplanted in commercial growing mix (Professional growing mix; Sun Gro Inc, Agawam, MA) in 6-inch pot and harvested after 7 weeks to test the effect of biochar and vermicompost on further plant growth. Dry Weight (DW) were measured after oven-dried at

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FIGURE 1. Seeds’ emergence percentage in commercial propagation mix (Control), 70% biochar: 30% vermicompost (7B: 3V, by vol.) or 80%biochar: 20%vermicompost (8B: 2V).

80°C until constant weight. Other remaining seedlings were harvested from medium surface to measure fresh weight (FW). Emergence percentage (EP) and emergence index (EI) were calculated to reflect the overall germination rate and germination speed using these formulas: EP= EI= where EPi is EP on day i, and Ti is the number of days after sowing.

Results All seeds had similar EP and EI in germination mixes with biochar and vermicompost when compared to the control (Fig.1 and 2). This indicated that all the seeds in mixes with biochar and vermicompost had similar germination rate and speed compared to the ones in commercial propagation mix.

FIGURE 2. Seeds’ emergence index of seeds in Control, 7B: 3V, or 8B: 2V.

FIGURE 3. Fresh weight of small seeds (a) and large seeds (b) in Control, 7B: 3V, or 8B: 2V. The asterisks indicated significant difference from the control using Dunnett’s tests (P<0.05(*)).

All harvested seedlings’ FWs in germination mixes with biochar and vermicompost were similar to control except those of marigold and salvia in 8B:2V which were lower than the control (Fig.3). All plants’ DWs at 7 weeks after transplanting were not significantly different from the control except those of zinnia germinated in 8B: 2V which were even higher than the control (Fig.4) In conclusion, biochar and vermicompost mixes could be used as germination mixes.

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FIGURE 4. Dry weight of plants harvested at 7 weeks after transplanting, which were germinated in Control, 7B: 3V, or 8B: 2V. The asterisks indicated significant difference from the control using Dunnett’s tests (P<0.05(*)).

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Economic and Postharvest Quality Analysis of Poinsettia Produced at Reduced Substrate Moisture Content YANJUN GUO*, TERRI STARMAN, AND CHARLIE HALL DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURAL SCIENCES, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/LEENA ROBINSON

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BR ACTS COLO R ING week 44

week 45

TA B LE 1: week 46

40/40

20/20

40/20

Four substrate moisture content (SMC) treatments (40/40, 20/20, 40/20, 20/40% SMC) on poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) ‘Freedom Red’. All weeks were reported as production weeks. T RT/ WE E K

WK 3 3 - 39

W K 4 0 - 47

40/40

SMC 40%

SMC 40%

20/20

SMC 20%

SMC 20%

40/20

SMC 40%

SMC 20%

20/40

SMC 20%

SMC 40%

20/40

A

s a major crop for grower annual income, research has been conducted on poinsettia production in order to increase grower profits. One aspect is to reduce production input, such as irrigation water input, fertilizer, plant growth regulators (PGR), overhead, and labor. Irrigation has played a major role in greenhouse production of poinsettia and multiple studies have been focused in this area. Traditionally, water deficit was considered a concern during greenhouse poinsettia production, wilting between watering was not allowed, and height control through water deficit was reported not effective because it decreased plant quality by causing lower leaf drop (Dole and Wilkins, 1999; Schuch et al., 1996). However more recent studies reported that low substrate moisture content (SMC, 20%) could be used as replacement for PGR (daminozide, or B-Nine), which has been a common PGR used in poinsettia production during greenhouse production to

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produce more compact plants (Alem et al., 2015; Joiner and Harrison, 1967). The objective of this study was to determine the effect of soil moisture content (SMC) during poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Freedom Red’) greenhouse production on plant quality and postproduction longevity. In this study, 240 poinsettias have been given two SMC levels (20% and 40%) applied in four timing of application combinations. Total production (TP) time was 14 weeks in which vegetative production (VP) occurred from week 33 to 39 and reproductive production (RP) continued from week 40 to 47. The timing of application treatments groups were: 40/40 = TP at 40% SMC; 20/20= TP at 20% SMC; 40/20 = VP at 40% + RP at 20%; and, 20/40 = VP at 20% + RP at 40% (table 1). After 48 hr simulated shipping in the dark, plants were evaluated for five weeks in a simulated retail environment with three packaging treatments: (1) N = no packaging; (2) C = pot cover only; and, (3) CS = pot cover and sleeve. Growth

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index (GI), leaf greenness (SPAD), leaf thickness, and petiole thickness were measured weekly. Bract number, leaf number, internode length, and shoot dry weight (DW) were measured at week 39, 42, 45, 47. As for results, plant shoot DW was not affected by SMC during vegetative growth but was reduced in 20/20 and 40/40 compared to 40/40 and 20/40 starting at week 45. Leaf thickness was not affected by SMC treatment but petiole thickness was higher in 40/40 and 20/40 comparing to 20/20 and 40/20 starting week 43. 20/20 and 40/20 had shorter internode length and smaller growth index than 40/40 and 20/40 at the end of greenhouse production. The leaf number, bract number and SPAD reading were showing no difference at the end of the production, which indicated 20/20 and 40/20 produced more compact plants without reducing plant quality. Plants in 20/40 had higher bract coloring percentage

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(continued from page 25) at week 44 and 45, which indicated a possible one-week earlier marketing time compared to 40/40 or 20/40 (Fig.1). Compared to 40/40, 20/20

could save up to 26% of irrigation water, and reduce the irrigation associated production cost from $2.19 to $1.11 throughout the entire greenhouse production period.

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During postharvest, CS packaged plants had reduced leaf number due to leaf abscission and the lowest SPAD reading, regardless of SMC treatment. 40/40 had the lowest bract number after five weeks of postharvest, and 40/40 and 20/40 packaged with CS had the lowest live stem number. In summary, reducing SMC to 20% during total production or during the reproductive stage reduced water usage, and associated cost, and is able to produce more compact plants with greater postproduction quality.

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Citation: Alem, P., P.A. Thomas, and M.W. van Iersel, 2015. Controlled Water Deficit as an Alternative to Plant Growth Retardants for Regulation of Poinsettia Stem Elongation. HortScience 50:565-569. Dole, J.M. and H.F. Wilkins, 1999. Floriculture: principles and species. Prentice-Hall Inc. Joiner, J. and D.D. Harrison. 1967. Control of growth and flowering ofâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Paul Mikkelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;poinsettias by photoperiod and growth retardants.Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc, 80. Schuch, U., R.A. Redak, and J. Bethke, 1996. Whole-plant response of six poinsettia cultivars to three fertilizer and two irrigation regimes. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 121:69-76.

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G R E E NV I$ IO N

Effects of Biochar and Vermicompost on Container-grown Basil (Ocimum basilicum) and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Roma’) BY DR. XIULI LIU, DR. MENGMENG GU Lan Huang is a graduate student working on her master’s degree in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dr. Xiuli Liu is an Associate Professor at Beijing Forestry University.

Introduction

Biochar can be also used as a replacement for commonly used container substrates. Container plant production needs a significant amount of potting mixes or substrates such as peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, bark, and compost. However, excess harvest of peat moss led to damage to peatlands. There is also increasing cost and limited supply of commonly used substrates. Therefore, it would be necessary to search for alternative substrate components. Research has shown that BC can be a potential alternative to commonly used substrates.

B

iochar (BC) refers to carbon-rich material derived from pyrolysis or gasification of biomass. When using as soil amendment, biochar could increase water and nutrient holding capacity, sequestrates carbon, mitigate greenhouse gas emission, ameliorate soil acidity, provide a suitable environment for microbial activity and improve crop yield.

There are various factors related to BC’s impact on container-grown plants including feedstocks of BC, BC production conditions, plant type, percentage of BC applied, and other components mixed with BC. There is no universal standard for using BC for all plants. It would be beneficial to examine the characteristics of BCs, amendment options based on BCs’ characteristics and their effects on diverse types of container-grown plants. Vermicompost (VC) is the end products using earthworms to break down and stabilize the organic wastes, such as sewage sludge, animal waste, and crop residues. Vermicomposts are regarded as finely textured, rich in nutrients and have good water holding capacity. The objective of this research is to test the potential of BC and VC mixes as replacements for commercial peat-based container substrates. The specific objectives are to 1) investigate (continued on page 28)

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TNLAGREEN (continued from page 27 ) effects of BC and VC on the physical and chemical properties of the substrates; and 2) compare impacts of different amendment rates of BC with VC on basil (Ocimum basilicum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Roma’) plant growth.

2, 4, 6 and 9WAT, which was determined by the following formula: Plant growth index=Plant height/2+(Plant width 1+Plant width 2)/4. At 9WAT, plants were harvested to measure dry weight (DW).

Materials and Methods

The experiment was set up in a completely randomized block design. Data were analyzed using JMP Statistical Software (version Pro 12.2.0; SAS Institute, Cary, NC) and means were separated using Dunnett’s test when treatments were significant at P<0.05.

Plant materials and substrates. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Roma’) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) seeds were sown in commercial propagation mix (Propagation mix; Sun Gro Inc., Agawam, MA) in plug trays on 28 Oct 2016. One tomato seed was sown per cell, while three basil seeds were sown per cell. Uniform basil and tomato seedlings were selected and transplanted into the experimental substrates in 6-inch pots on 16 Nov 2016. Seventeen substrates were formulated. Six replications of 4 rate of BC (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, by vol.) derived from pyrolysis of hardwood were blended with 4 rate of VC (5, 10, 15, 20%, by vol.) with the rest being commercial substrates. Commercial substrates were used as the control (Fig. 1). The pH of the BC is 10.2 and it had 4.6 mmhos cm-1 soluble salts. Basil and tomato plants were irrigated with 200 and 300 mg L-1 N (20N-4.3P-16.6K) Peters Professional (Everris NA Inc, Dublin, OH) nutrient solutions, respectively. Physical and chemical properties of the substrates. Physical properties including total porosity (TP) and container capacity (CC) were determined using the North Carolina State University Horticultural Substrates Laboratory porometers. Substrate pH and electrical conductivity (EC) were measured at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 9 weeks after transplanting (WAT) using handheld pH-EC meter (Hanna Instrument, Woonsocket, RI). Plant growth and development. Plant growth index (GI) were measured at 0,

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Experimental Design And Statistical Analysis

Results Physical properties of the substrates. When the physical properties of the 17 different substrates were compared, there was no significant difference between the TP of all the BC and VC mixes and the control except that of the mixes with 10% VC and 80% BC, which was lower than the control. Container capacity of mixes with 20 or 40% BC and 5, 10 or 15%VC was similar to the control. Adding up 20% VC to the substrates significantly decreased the CC (Fig. 2). Chemical properties of the substrates. The effect of BC and VC on EC of the substrates was variable. At 9WAT, EC of substrate leachates of BC and VC mixes which grew basil were lower than the control, except those of the mixes with 5 or 10 %VC and 20% BC and mixes with 20% VC and 20 or 40% BC, while EC of substrate leachates of BC and VC mixes which grew tomato were similar to that the control, except for those of mixes with 5 % VC and 80% BC and mixes with 15% VC and 60 or 80% BC which were lower than the control (Fig. 3).

control except for that of the mixes growing tomato plants with 5, 10, 15% VC with 20% BC at 9 WAT were similar to the control (Fig. 4) Plant growth and development. Growth index of the basil plants grown in substrates with any combination of BC and VC were similar to those grown in the control at 2, 4, 6, and 9WAT. Growth index of the tomato plants grown in substrates with BC and VC were all similar to those grown in the control except the one grown in 15% VC and 20% BC which was higher than the control at 9WAT (Fig. 5, 7 &8). For basil, the shoot, root and total DW of the basil plants grown in BC and VC mixes were similar to or even higher than those of the control. For tomato, the stem, leaf, combined flower and fruit and root DW of tomato plants grown in BC and VC mixes were similar to or higher than the control except the root DW of tomatoes grown in 10% VC with 40% which were lower than the control. However, the total shoot DW and total DW of the tomato plants were still similar to or higher than those of the control (Fig. 6).

Conclusion In conclusion, growth index and total dry weight of basil and tomato plants grown in biochar and vermicompost mixes were similar to or even higher than the ones in 100% commercial substrates. The biochar and vermicompost mixes had the potential as replacements for commercial peat-based substrates for container-grown plants.

m

As biochar percentage increased, pH of the substrates leachates increased. All the pH of substrates leachates of the VC and BC mixes were higher than the

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N OTES FRO M SFA G A R DE NS

Horticulture Research at Stephen F. Austin State University BY DR. DAVID CREECH

H

Dr. David Creech is Regents Professor Emeritus at Stephen F Austin State University and the Director of SFA Gardens

orticulture research at Stephen F. Austin State University is more than a sideline; it’s a way of life. SFA Gardens serves as the platform for a wide variety of research projects in fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. With excellent greenhouse and nursery space and 128 acres of East Texas soil, sunlight and irrigation, the resource base is terrific. Of course, it’s funding that drives research programs and there’s never enough. With state and federal sources slimmer than ever and the competition intense, we are no different than our brethren at other institutions of higher learning. It’s a treadmill of writing proposals, licking our wounds on the rejections and rejoicing on the successes. Of course, when we do bring one in, that begins the process of dealing with the accounting and reporting system. That means obeying laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines. My administrators will tell you that’s not my long suit. However, with the success of SFA Gardens has come eight staff, who make things happen, act as a buffer, and keep my social skills in order.

We believe that for a University like ours, it’s important to have projects that are actually relevant, efforts that connect us with the industry. Evaluating new plants does that. Let’s face it, new plants are sexy. They drive the nursery and landscape industry. Dawn Stover, Research Associate, takes the lead here on herbaceous perennials, wildflowers, pollinator plants, getting them into the garden for evaluation – and ultimately introducing them to the trade. I lean to woody plants, trees in particular. It’s the megacharismatics that rule our industry and it’s there SFA Gardens has significant collections, including oak, crape myrtle, Hydrangea, Japanese maples, azaleas and camellias, and others well known in the gardens of the South. Dawn once asked me, “Aren’t three hundred varieties of Japanese maple enough.” No. It’s no secret we like baldcypress, Taxodium distichum. Whether bald, pond, Montezuma or the hybrids created by Chinese breeders, we’ve been studying this amazing long lived tree for decades. The end result is a collection that is perhaps the best in the nation. Along the way, we’ve done some genetic work, made genotype and variety comparisons, investigated the impact of pruning treatments, Nitrogen source/rate and studied salt tolerance factors. We’ve taken the same approach with many of the Mexico oaks, Acer skutchii (the Mexico Mountain Sugar maple), and others, all an attempt to evaluate and promote durable woody plants for the predicted climate we face in years to come: warmer with more violent extremes. The fruit effort at SFA Gardens is not timid. We have blueberry, muscadine grape, and fig reseach plots, projects that have been described in (continued on page 30)

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Staff at Stephen F. Austin Gardens.

(continued from page 29) previous TNLA Green issues (TNLA Green 18 (6): 35-36). While the primary focus is variety and selection evaluation over many years, we are also quick to share our germplasm with other programs across the South. Along the way, many of these plantings have served as the basis for various horticultural studies. We owe a new pecan variety trial in Pecan Acres Park to Dr. George Ray McEachern, TAMU, and Same Pollard, owner of Texas Pecan Nursery, Chandler, Texas. A new and exciting development is a project to evaluate the feasibility of golden kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis. Funded by a Texas Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research grant, we share the project with Tim Hartmann of TAMU to learn everything we can about growing this exciting new crop. Our latest research effort involves a project at Moody Gardens to find and

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evaluate “climate change friendly” plants for a 21st century Texas. In the second year, we will soon have over two acres of plant materials in a nursery row setting, drip irrigated, and facing the challenges of hurricanes, wind, and salty conditions. We’re four feet above sea level and one tidal surge away from disaster. While Harvey came close, the tidal surge crept up to but not into the plots. Dr. Wagner in Biology is studying the impact of mycorrhiza on plant establishment and Dr. Farrish in Environmental Science is studying various establishment treatments to enhance survival and plant growth (raised beds, organic matter, and gypsum). It’s a wonderful experiment and a challenge we love. SFASU has two teaching faculty in Horticulture as part of the Department of Agriculture in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. Dr. Jared Barnes is a new faculty member with a focus on engaging students and

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the community in urban gardening. He is evaluating over 40 Colocasia cultivars for performance, color, spreading habit and winter hardiness and studying the performance and optimum production factors of cool season edibles like Swiss chard. Dr. Michael Maurer has several interesting research projects including the 1) evaluation of pinching and spacing on growth and development of specialty cut sunflowers, 2) establishment of turfgrass in sand based systems using subsurface drip irrigation, and 3) evaluation of Rose lilies ‘doubleflower’ as specialty cut flowers in east Texas. There’s no doubt these are economically challenging times for Horticulture research. Through many years of ups and downs, SFA Gardens has survived. Our mantra remains the same. Let’s keep planting.

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B U G S & FU ZZ

What Are Aggie Scientists Doing BY DR. KEVIN ONG AND DR. ERFAN VAFAIE

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orticulturalists, plant pathologists, economists, soil scientists, and entomologists are consistently working together at Texas A&M, institutions nationally, and internationally to ultimately improve the green industry in Texas. These research projects can tackle individual and isolated problems or are ambitious in nature and seek to create new opportunities for the industry. Below are some of the current research projects that deal with insect/mite pests or plant pathogens of major green industry commodities in Texas. Dr. Kevin Ong (top) directs the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Erfan Vafaie (bottom) is Extension Program Specialist (IPM) at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

4 years of resources to get a good hold of this pest. With alternative hosts, such as apple, pomegranate, and soybean, the crapemyrtle bark scale has the potential to become a devastating pest of many different commodities in the US. This project grant seeks new opportunities for biological control (classical, cultural, and conservation), new cultural and mechanical control methods, and investigates more insecticide options for managing the crapemyrtle bark scale. This project will also study whether crapemyrtle bark scale performs differently depending on the crapemyrtle cultivar and other plant potential plant hosts in the US. Lastly, this project will seek to understand more about consumer preferences for crapemyrtles, barriers to crapemyrtle sales, as well as creating networks to disseminate information, such as best management practices for crapemyrtle bark scale, to landscapers around the country.

Systematic Strategies to Manage Crapemyrtle Bark Scale USDA-SCRI & Horticultural Research Institute The subject of the crapemyrtle bark scale is not new the TNLA Green. There have been several articles written about population cycles and ways to manage them. However, just recently, a team of entomologists and horticulturalists led by Dr. Mengmeng Gu from the Department of Horticulture at Texas A&M have secured another

Emerging Thrips-Vectored Diseases Impacting Texas Agriculture Insect Vector Diseases Grant Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Global tr ade in plant materials has presented new marketing opportunities, but also presents opportunities for insect-vectored diseases to enter the US. Work by Dr. Kevin Heinz and Dr. Steve Arthurs at Texas &M plan to investigate current tospoviruses and their vectoring species. Tospoviruses are only transmitted by thrips and can affect over 1000 species of (continued on page 32)

FIGURE 1. The Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, is responsible for spreading several tospoviruses in Texas. Photo courtesy of Jack T. Reed, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org.

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TNLAGREEN (continued from page 31 )

FIGURE 2 . Current known distribution of rose rosette disease in the USA, provided by eddmaps.org. Distribution map and additional information can be found at roserosette.org.

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TNLAGREEN plants worldwide, with some of the common vulnerable ornamentals in Texas including impatiens, begonias, and chrysanthemums. This project will use new sequencing methods to characterize tospoviruses collected from the field and use lab studies to determine how these viruses are vectored from plant to plant. By understanding current tospoviruses and their vectors that are affecting our commodities, we can have a good handle on diagnostics, thrips managements, and disease management.

Combatting Rose Rosette Disease: Short Term And Long Term USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Research led by Dr. David Byrne in the Department of Horticulture at Texas A&M has optimized detection methods for rose rosette disease, by decreasing time required to run diagnostics, using more cost-effective methods, decreasing detection limits, and providing more reliable detection methods. Additionally, they have decreased the cost of resources required to count eriophyid mites (the mites that vector rose rosette) from $9,000 to less than $100, making it more readily available to consumers. New sampling methods have also been developed to detect movement of eriophyid mites, that will further assist in determining the main methods of vectoring between different rose plots. In addition to detecting the disease and mites, the project team has identified several species of roses, including some commercial species, that appear resistant to rose rosette (confirmation under progress). Further research will discover genes associated with resistance to rose rosette disease, and whether resistance rootstocks could provide a temporary solution to combatting rose rosette.

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Insecticide, Herbicide, And Fungicide Trials Various Private companies will provide small grants or supply funding to research whether their product will manage different insect pests. Companies also want to make sure that an insecticide or fungicide will not kill or have any negative effects on the plant using the label rate, including at 2x or 4x rate, in case someone runs some miscalculations! As scientists at Texas A&M, we serve as third party non-bias researchers that will test products from different companies. Results are often published in openaccess journals, such as Arthropod Management Tests, or summaries provided in extension publications. By testing these products, we can also provide reliable data to our growers about what works and what doesn’t, and also assist companies in the process of registering new products that will aid the green industry.

Biological Control of Poinsettia Whiteflies Whiteflies, specifically the silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), is one of the main insect pest problems of poinsettias in the southern US. The p

roblem doesn’t get any easier as insecticide resistant populations become more prevalent. Erfan Vafaie and Dr. Kevin Heinz are working together to develop a solution that relies on the use of predatory mites and parasitic insects to manage whiteflies. Although many greenhouses in the Northeast, in Canada, and Europe already use these predatory mites and parasitic insects to manage whiteflies in their operations, southern US presents unique environmental, climatic, and greenhouse structural conditions. This project seeks to provide a solution to whitefly management that will be economically comparable to insecticide use, but maintain or increase efficacy of control against whiteflies. The results from this result will be applicable to whiteflies on other ornamentals and vegetable crops, especially grown in close or semi-closed greenhouse production.

Conclusion The researchers at Texas A&M are always seeking opportunities to help the green industry. If you feel that there’s an issue related to insect pest or pathogen management that could justify research, whether it be a problem faced by many growers or has large economic impact, don’t hesitate to let you’re Aggie Scientists know. In exchange, you can help Aggies by providing infested/infected materials related to specific projects, providing letters of support when applying for grants, or simply let us know how our work is impacting your operations.

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FIGURE 3 . Whitefly adult, pupae, exuviae, and nymphs on the underside of a poinsettia leaf. Photo taken by Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

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NE W ME MB E R S

Welcome!

TNLA would like to welcome its new members. If you would like to become a member, or if you have anyquestions or concerns about your current membership, please contact us at 800.880.0343. Visit www.tnlaonline.org to learn about the benefits of becoming a part of TNLA.

REGION 1

REGION 4

REGION 5

REGION 7

REGION 9

Nicholas J. Riccelli Nick Riccelli 113 Country Club Lane San Antonio, TX 78232

Ennis ISD Tommy Copeland 1405 W Lake Bardwell Dr. Ennis, TX 75119 South Grand Prairie High School

AZPECTS Geoff Whitcher 14902 Preston Rd., Ste 244-304 Dallas, TX 75254 www.azpects.com

Virginia Garcia-Rios 948 S. McCampbell St. Aransas Pass, TX 78336

Horticultural Alliance Elaine Quin 1550 66th Ave. Dr. E. Sarasota, FL 34243 www.horticultural alliance.com

Landscape

Education

REGION 2

Kassie Davidson 512 Highland Park Dr. Irving, TX 75061

Landscape – Individual

Government

Alvord ISD Sharon Sackett 318 Fruitland Rd. Bowie, TX 76230

Rebecca Stanczak 622 Arawe Cir. W. Irving, TX 75060

Texas Design Source Landscaping Robert Ramirez III PO Box 1085 Highlands, TX 77562

Texas A&M AgriLife Daniel Cunningham 406 Vernet St. Richardson, TX 75080

REGION 3

Landscape

Education

Soak-N-Grow Kelly Hamrick PO Box 836 Whitewright, TX 75491

Garrison ISD Kathy Bryan 2149 FM 138 Garrison, TX 75946

Individual

Landscape

C & J Landscaping 4925 Valley Stream Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78413

Education

Arlington ISD Lacie Farmer 2101 Browning Dr. Arlington, TX 76010

Supplier

Insurance Solutions of Texas Andy Musgrove 14140 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 150 Sugar Land, TX 77478 www.bizinsurancetexas.com

Supplier

REGION 8 Retail

Waco Flower Tent Brian Scott Lumley 6529 Sendero Lane Waco, TX 76712

Individual

Supplier

Wagner Greenhouses, Inc. Ron Wagner 6024 Penn Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55419 www.wagnergreenhouses.com

Grower

2 Guevara’s Nursery Luis Guevara 165 Butter Cemetary Cut Off Rd. Forest Hill, LA 71430

Student

Anthony Hughes PO Box 1011 Hurst, TX 76053

Tarleton State University Cameron York 129 Travis Lane Hewitt, TX 76643

Student

Tarrant County College Robbie Tullos 12456 Woods Edge Trail Fort Worth, TX 76244

New TNLA Certified Professionals TCNP Eric Taylor TCNP 5704 Calloway’s Nursery Anthony Lopin TCNP 5705 Calloway’s Nursery

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TA B LE 3 :

(continued from page 18)

Summary of observational data on rose cultivars and RRD symptoms. Rose Class

Symptomatic

Suspect

the inheritance of China/Tea 18 0 1 resistance and identify Floribunda 28 13 12 genetic markers, unique regions of DNA used to Grandiflora 18 2 2 identify and locate genes Hybrid multiflora 7 0 0 linked to resistance. Hybrid rugosa 5 0 3 In this activity we are working with six other Hybrid tea 71 14 10 breeders: Don Holeman Hybrid wichuriana 4 0 0 (Connecticut), David Zlesak (Wisconsin), Mini/miniflora 15 0 4 Michele Scheiber Shrub 59 5 8 (Pennsylvania, NovaFlora), Species 7 0 13 Ping Lim (Roses by Ping and Altman Plants, All others 68 5 12 California), Jim Sproul Total 300 39 65 (Roses by Design, California) and Christian Bedard (Weeks Roses, • Use these markers to accelerate California). We will our breeding process. This is where harvest the first set of seed from these the previously created populations crosses this fall. come into the picture again. These • Develop a molecular technique populations of plants will be assessed called digital genotyping or for their resistance to RRD as well as genotyping by sequencing to characterized for the markers along generate markers along the length of their chromosomes. What we want all the chromosomes. This technique to find is the markers that are in can improve our ability to generate the section of DNA that condition these markers by 100 fold over older resistance to RRD. To do this we are techniques. It is amazing how quickly working with two scientists (Drs. Bink our ability to sequence DNA has and van de Weg) in the Netherlands improved over the last decade— it at the Plant Research Institute reminds me of the speed in which in Wageningen. Their computer our computing power has improved. program, FlexQTL, combines the Muqing Yan, a doctoral student field and the lab data with pedigree studying rose breeding and genetics, records to allow us to identify has developed the methodology the markers associated with RRD to extract high quality DNA for the resistance. rose for sequencing. She is currently analyzing the sequence data from four families to construct a genetic map with several thousand markers.

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How do these molecular markers help us develop RRD resistant rose cultivars? It tells us if the gene for RRD resistance is in the plant. This saves time and money!

Asymptomatic

•The marker will tell us if the resistant gene is in the plant. This information can be obtained when the plant is a small seedling in the greenhouse. The alternative to determine if a plant is resistant is a replicated trial in which the plants are inoculated with the virus/ mite. This process takes 2-3 years to complete versus 2 months of germinating the seed! That saves a tremendous amount of time and effort. This allows the breeder to look at more seedlings, and in plant breeding the more seedlings you can examine, the greater the chance of success. • The marker can be used to identify which parents have which resistance genes. This will allow a crossing strategy to be effectively planned to optimize the breeder’s chances of getting all the useful resistance genes combined in the seedlings produced. There is much to be done, but given the coordinated approach that is now in place under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant, Combating Rose Rosette Disease: Short Term and Long Term Approaches we should make rapid progress in understanding how best to manage this devastating rose disease.

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CAL E NDA R O F E V E NT S

November 11/7 5:00-8:00pm Region I - General Meeting at Peterson Brothers Nursery in San Antonio 11/7 6:00-8:00pm Region V - Wild Game Feast in Colleyville 11/8 11:30am-1:30pm Region VII - General Meeting at KBW Supply in Donna 11/8 6:00-8:00pm Region II - General Meeting at Plants for All Seasons in Houston 11/15 TNLA Board of Directors Meeting in College Station 11/23-11/24 TNLA State Offices Closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday 11/30 6:00-8:30pm Region III - Holiday Dinner at Rick’s on the Square in Tyler

December 12/12 6:30-8:30pm Region IV - Christmas Party at Main Event in Plano 12/13 6:00-8:30pm Region II - Christmas Party in Houston 12/22

TNLA State Offices Closed for Christmas Eve Holiday

12/15 TNLA State Offices

January 1/1 Closed for New Year’s Day Holiday

To see the most up to date event information please visit the Calendar on tnlaonline.org!

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Profile for TNLA GREEN Magazine

November/December 2017 TNLA Green Magazine  

This issue of TNLA Green Magazine highlights horticultural research being done in the State of Texas.

November/December 2017 TNLA Green Magazine  

This issue of TNLA Green Magazine highlights horticultural research being done in the State of Texas.