Developing a Corn Plant Pathology Program at NDSU

Developing a Corn Plant Pathology Program at NDSU 2017-03-15T08:46:12+00:00

Andrew Friskop, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology

Diseases can be a major limiting factor in corn production in the United States and information on the prevalence of corn diseases in North Dakota (ND) is needed to help create awareness amongst growers in the state. To help develop disease management recommendations, a corn plant pathology program has been established at NDSU.

Ms. Elizabeth Crane was hired as a research specialist and part-time Ph.D. student. Ms. Crane’s research has focused on documenting corn diseases in ND, conducting hybrid by inoculation timing trials on Goss’s leaf blight and collecting over 50 isolates of the Goss’s leaf blight pathogen for upcoming genetic diversity studies.

A foliar corn disease survey was conducted during the growing seasons of 2014 and 2015. This survey effort has increased our understanding and distribution of Goss’s in ND, as well as other foliar diseases. This information is valuable for Extension programs and future research on corn diseases.

As part of Ms. Crane’s Ph.D. research, a hybrid by inoculation timing trial was conducted at two locations in North Dakota in 2015. The primary objective of the study was to document yield loss in three hybrids (varying in levels of susceptible to Goss’s) when the pathogen was introduced at different points of the growing season. Preliminary results indicated disease developed at each location, while the yield components are still being analyzed