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News Filed Under Plant Diseases

Spores of the Macrophomina phaseolina pathogen can be seen as transparent ovals in this microscopic image taken from an infected corn plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/ Clarissa Balbalian)
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Ornamentals Diseases

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- When impatiens planted as part of a Mississippi State University variety trial died within two weeks, researchers acted quickly and described a pathogen never before seen in this flower.

"We were growing SunPatiens, which are hybrid impatiens immune to downy mildew. This disease has been a big problem for the industry," Broderick said. "The plants were doing really well, but in July they started to look like they were wilting. The stems were collapsing and dying, and in a two-week period, they went from looking relatively healthy to dead."

Mississippi State University plant pathologist Tom Allen (left) said fungicide-resistant frogeye leaf spot in soybeans has recently become a major problem. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)  Producers rely on Mississippi State University recommendations to make management decisions related to kudzu bugs, such as these pictured (right), and other insect pests. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
October 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Weed Control for Crops, Plant Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers know how to handle ongoing threats posed by insects, diseases, and weeds, but new threats continue to surface that keep them on high alert and change the way they operate.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers and MSU Extension Service specialists work to monitor the arrival of new crop threats, determine the best way to address the problem, and pass on those recommendations to producers.

Insect pests …

This crape myrtle branch is encrusted in the white felt of crape myrtle bark scale, an invasive insect that damages the once low-maintenance trees. (Photo by MSU Extension/Blake Layton)
September 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases, Trees

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts found an invasive insect that attacks crape myrtles on the coast this spring and now have spotted the pest in two cities on opposite ends of the state.

The insects are crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, and they were found March 15 in Ocean Springs in Jackson County. In August, the insects were detected at five locations in Olive Branch and Southaven in DeSoto County.

January 27, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension, Plant Diseases

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rebecca Melanson recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service as a plant pathologist.

She will focus on disease management issues in fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Frogeye leaf spot fungus, such as the specimen seen on this leaf, causes serious yield losses when not treated in soybeans. Mississippi State University is surveying to monitor and limit the increasing resistance of the fungus to the strobilurin class of fungicides commonly used for late-season disease management in soybean fields. (Photo by MAFES/Sead Sabanadzovic)
November 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A statewide survey that Mississippi State University began this summer will continue next year as researchers look for a particular fungal disease that is developing resistance to chemical control.

In 2012, soybean fields in two Mississippi counties were found to have frogeye leaf spot fungi resistant to strobilurins, the class of fungicides commonly used for late-season disease management in soybeans.

Curiosity led Clarissa Balbalian, the manager of Mississippi State University's plant diagnostic lab, into her career as a plant pathologist. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Clarissa Balbalian’s job presents a new mystery every day.

“If you are analytical and like solving mysteries, this is the perfect job,” said Balbalian, the manager of Mississippi State University’s plant diagnostic lab. “I like working with people and helping them find solutions to their problems, too.”

Balbalian studied biology at Longwood University in Virginia, and then earned her master’s degree in forest pathology at West Virginia University.

Clarissa Balbalian receives a box of soil samples sent to the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab for evaulation. A proposed management strategy accompanies each set of test results. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soil Health, Plant Diseases, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two soil tests conducted routinely help Mississippi producers ensure the productivity of their farmland.

Soil tests in the fall to determine fertility levels and nematode tests in the spring to detect harmful pests help producers improve soil quality before spring tillage and planting begin.

Mississippi State University scientists at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville are trying to identify soybean varieties resistant to purple leaf blight, a disease that can reduce yields by more than 20 bushels per acre. (Photo by Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station/Rebekah Ray)
July 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University scientists are trying to identify soybean varieties resistant to a disease that can reduce yields by more than 20 bushels per acre.

MSU plant pathologist Gabe Sciumbato and research associate Walter Solomon are checking soybean varieties for purple leaf blight through MSU’s soybean variety trials. Both are Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Mississippi State University researchers tested an organic method of treating poinsettia cuttings to fight a devastating fungus that causes stem and root rot. Mississippi producers grow an estimated 200,000 poinsettias per year, valued at $1 million. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
December 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Researchers at Mississippi State University have found a cost-effective and environmentally friendly strategy for fighting one of the most serious soil-borne diseases in poinsettia production.

Pythium stem and root rot is a common problem in poinsettia production because the fungus thrives in cool, saturated and poorly drained soils, said Maria Tomaso-Peterson, associate research professor in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Gary Lawrence and undergraduate students Ben Berch and Patrick Garrard (from left) collect hyperspectral reflectance data from cotton plants infected with reniform nematodes for a grant-funded project at Mississippi State University.
July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests, Remote Sensing Technology, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Researchers at Mississippi State University have developed technology that uses reflected light to analyze the presence of certain nematodes in cotton fields so producers can increase profits.

February 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Plant Diseases

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Auburn University officials needed help investigating an attack on part of their school’s history, they turned to Mississippi State University.

According to an Auburn University statement, school officials learned that a Jan. 27 caller to The Paul Finebaum Show, a nationally syndicated radio show based in Birmingham, claimed he had applied an herbicide to the soil around 130-year-old live oaks at Toomer’s Corner on campus.

February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The plant disease diagnostic lab at Mississippi State University handled 726 samples in 2009, and nearly 100 of these were digital images rather than actual samples of diseased plants.

Clarissa Balbalian, diagnostician and lab manager with the MSU Extension Service, said the lab made reasonably confident diagnoses of 75 percent of these digital samples without requiring physical samples.

“That success rate is primarily due to the excellent quality of the photographs and the detailed descriptions that accompanied them,” Balbalian said.

Mississippi State University plant pathologist Tom Allen checks cotton seedlings for black root rot disease, a fungus that causes plants to rot from the roots. (MSU Delta Research and Extension file photo)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

By Rebekah Ray
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Black root rot, a fungal disease that infects cotton and soybeans, may be affecting more soybean acres across the Delta, and Mississippi State University researchers are working to prevent its impact.

September 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Noxubee County soybean field severely infected with soybean rust will represent the state's first yield losses to the disease that has been present in the state since November 2004.

Rust was evaluated in the field Sept. 4, and it is the most severe case of soybean rust found in Mississippi to date. The 100-acre field near Brooksville was not treated with a fungicide.

August 20, 2009 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists are hopeful that incidences of soybean rust across the state will continue to be minor and only occur after plants have passed the at-risk growth stage.

August 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Soybean rust was found in Mississippi in two fields near Thornton on Thursday, but experts are not recommending producers spray fungicide for the disease.

Soybean rust appeared in 79 of the state's 82 counties in 2008, but it came late enough that it did not cause yield losses. This soybean leaf is infected with the rust virus. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
November 6, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybean growers wrapped up another year's battle with soybean rust without yield losses to the disease, even though it was found in 79 of the state's 82 counties.

Tom Allen, an Extension plant pathologist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, has been part of the team monitoring the disease since 2007. He announced Nov. 1 that soybean rust had been found in all counties except Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties in south Mississippi.

A plant pathologist holds evidence of Asian soybean rust on kudzu leaves found in Wilkinson County. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
May 1, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ongoing efforts to track Asian soybean rust and minimize its threat to Mississippi soybean acres led researchers to note that some kudzu, a rust host, resists the disease.

Billy Moore, plant pathologist emeritus working part time with the rust program for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the team searching for rust in the state examines soybeans and kudzu plots for signs of the fungus. They use global positioning system coordinates to note the location of each plot searched for rust.

March 27, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Well before planting time, the fight against Asian soybean rust is already under way in Mississippi as sentinel plots are planted and genetic resistance to the disease is being developed.

Billy Moore, pathologist emeritus working parttime with the rust program for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Schillinger Seeds is developing resistance to soybean rust.

February 8, 2008 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When there is a sick plant in the state, Mississippi State University's state-of-the-art Plant Pathology and Nematology Lab can determine the problem and its solution.

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