Overall goal of the project

A coordinated, multi-state effort is required to determine pathogen biology, population structure, and fungicide resistance profile of Alternaria sp. causing Alternaria blight and head rot (ABHR) in broccoli. Assessing the effect of specific production practices, environmental conditions, and inoculum on disease outbreaks can be used for practical, economically viable, and environmentally-sound strategies to limit losses to ABHR. There are two objectives of this project and they are as follows:

Objective 1: Utilize genomics, population genetics, and fungicide resistance profiling to characterize population structure and develop a diagnostic tool(s) for Alternaria sp. causing ABHR in broccoli (45%).

Figure 1. Typical dictyospores of Alternaria species

Objective 2: Examine if different sources of inoculum and production practices exist that contribute to ABHR outbreaks and develop management programs that are environmentally and economically sustainable (55%).

Figure 2. Alternaria on brassica

The proposed activities and associated time-line for each key-product participant are indicated in the table shown below.

Table 1. Timeline for key personnel contributions by task to address Alternaria blight and head rot in the Eastern US.