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A History of Plant Pathology in Virginia: The Wingard Era - II (1935-1949)
Author's note: Describing the events and characterizing the people involved in plant pathology from 1935 to the present ought to be easier than for the pre-1935 periods because I entered the scene in 1939, and was part of it from 1941 to 1944, and from 1947 to the present. On the other hand, I know all of the people who were involved from 1939 onward; thus, there is a tendency to include anecdotes and events that may make the history more readable and possibly, more enjoyable but more voluminous. Since I am writing this history as a hobby and self-indulgence, I do not have to respond to editors and publishers; therefore, I choose to embellish these writings as I see fit. I hope you will find it progressively more interesting. Eventually, the cut-off date may be 1999 when our current department celebrates its first 50 years.
C. W. Roane. September 1996.
In 1935, I. D. Wilson convinced President Julian Burruss that combining several biology related disciplines into one big Biology Department would be an academic stride and economic gain for V.P.I., not to mention that he, Wilson, would be Head of the conglomerate. All instruction in botany, plant pathology, entomology, bacteriology, plant physiology and mycology as well as zoological courses, would be administered through the Biology Department, I. D. Wilson, Head. Although I have not seen or heard a statement to the effect that botanist H. S. Stahl's death in January 1935 contributed to formation of this super department, the search for his replacement may have been a factor. In any case, Wingard of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology as named in the V.P.I. catalogue (but Department of Plant Pathology and Bacteriology in the Agricultural Experiment Station) and W. J. Schoene, Head of the Department of Entomology, became deposed department heads. However, both men continued to administer the affairs of the Experiment Station in their respective fields under the titles, Section of Plant Pathology and Botany and Section of Entomology.
To replace the teachers in botany and plant pathology, J. G. Harrar, a plant pathologist having earned the Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota, was hired as Assistant Professor for fall quarter teaching. Harrar was an excellent lecturer, organizer, graduate student recruiter and politician. He was of questionable character in the eyes of Wingard, Shear, and Henderson, all of whom abhorred the use of alcohol while Harrar consumed considerable amounts of it. Thus, to be a graduate of Minnesota plant pathology, one was automatically referred to in a derogatory manner by Henderson and Shear as being one of "that Minnesota crowd".
When Harrar arrived, he was expected to teach the following courses as listed in the 1935-36 (May '35) catalogue:
- 211-221-231 - Botany and Plant Physiology; I. - 3H, 6L, 5C; II. - 2H, 3L, 3C; III. - IH, 3L, 2C (I, II, III being the quarters F, W, S; H= hours of lecture; L= Hours of laboratory; C= credit hours).
- 212 - 222 - General Botany; I, II, 1H, 6L, 3C/qtr.
- 233 - Mycology; III, 1H, 6L, 3C.
- 313 - Plant Physiology; I, 2H, 2C.
- 321 - 331 - Plant Pathology; II, III, 3C/qtr.
- 332 - Plant Pathology Laboratory III, 6 to 12L, 2 to 4C.
- 424 - Advanced Botany; II, 4H, 12L, (could be arranged for up to 8C).
- 435 - Plant Anatomy; III, 6H, 2C.
- Graduate work in Botany - hours and credits arr.
- Graduate work in Plant Pathology - hours and credits arr.
Botany and Plant Physiology was renamed "Botany" and General Botany became "Phytology; the former was intended for students from the College of Agriculture, while the latter was intended for majors in Biology. Initially the hours and credits for Botany and Phytology were different but later they were the same and there was no real reason for offering botany under two different titles. We (the students) always thought it was simply a ploy by Wilson to maintain an upper and lower crust of students; i.e., to keep Biology students separate from Aggies. After all Biology students were destined to become doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and through advanced training in various disciplines, college professors; in general, they would not have to deal with soil, crops, manure, tractors, etc. Such may or may not have been the truth but it was perceived as so.
Into this atmosphere of segregation and dissention came Harrar who with Wilson had visions of grandeur for botany and plant pathology. Harrar did not promote his cause very tactfully when he announced to the Virginia State Horticultural Society that "A new service laboratory has been established in the department (of Biology), enabling the grower to send specimens to the college for diagnosis". Although this service was already available through Godkin, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Wingard and Henderson at Blacksburg and Hurt and Groves at field stations, Harrar was presenting it as a new innovation. He thereby further alienated himself from the faculty of the Section of Plant Pathology and Botany.
No matter how Harrar was regarded by other V.P.I. plant pathologists, his mission was to teach botanical courses but being a plant pathologist himself, he chose to train graduate students in plant pathology and, therefore, he revised the plant pathology course listings at the first opportunity. The 1939 - 40 catalogue (Apr. 1940) showed the following changes:
- 213-223-233 - Botany; 2H, 3L, 3C each qtr., a reduction from 10 to 9C and uniform hrs. and credits throughout the year.
- 312 - Plant Physiology; 2H, 3L, 3C, I (laboratory added).
- 337 - Forest Pathology; 2H, 3L, 3C, II (new 1936-37 catalogue).
- 5213 - Advanced Plant Pathology; 2H, 3L, 3C, II (new).
- 616-636 - Advanced Mycology; Credits and hours arranged.
- 617 - Cereal and Fruit Pathology; 2H, 3L, 3C, I (new).
- 638 - Diseases of Special Crops; 2H, 3L, 3C, III (new).
- 639 - Bacterial Diseases of Plants; 2H, 3L, 3C, III (new)
- 6210 - Principles of Plant Disease Control; 3H, 3C, II (new).
- 712 - Ornamental Pathology; Credits and hours arranged (new).
- 723 - Genetics of Plant Pathogens; 3H, 3C, II (new).
I do not know which textbooks Harrar recommended for use prior to 1940 but for the 1940-41 session, "Elements of Plant Pathology". by I. E. Melhus and G. C. Kent, 1939, was the text for Plant Pathology and, "Forest Pathology", by J. S. Boyce was recommended for the course by that name. The last 8 courses were for graduate students. No doubt these courses initiated were added in anticipation that a Ph.D. program would be initiated in the Department of Biology and indeed it was in the fall 1940. The list of courses was almost identical with the list in the University of Minnesota Graduate Catalogue; however, at Minnesota eight people participated in teaching versus one person at V.P.I. It seemed like a very ambitious undertaking for one person. Wilson had great faith in him because in 1937, Harrar was promoted to Associate Professor and in 1941 to Professor, a rather spectacular rate of advancement at V.P.I.
During Harrar's tenure, seven students earned M. S. degrees. It will be seen from the following list that three of them presented mycology-related thesis:
- B. L. Shelhorse completed his degree in 1936, but S. A. Wingard was his advisor. He wrote about purifying bean lines for rust resistance. He turned to medicine for his career.
- R. S. Mullin finished in 1937. He was Harrar's first student. His thesis was titled "Cercospora leaf spot of Calendula species". Mullin later briefly held the same position as Harrar had held in the Biology Department. He also worked several years at the Virginia Truck Experiment Station.
- L. I. Miller received his degree in 1938. His thesis was on "A Phoma leaf spot and stem canker of Antirrhinum species". Miller worked at Holland on peanuts and later was on the faculty at Blacksburg.
- G. E. Matheny graduated in 1939. His thesis was titled "A study of the relation of Berberis canadensis Mill. to stem rust in Virginia". He was barberry eradication leader in Virginia for several years.
- J. G. Martland wrote "A study of a species of Beauveria from Dendroctonus frontalis", and graduated in 1941. He became an employee of Minnesota Valley Canning Co. at LeSueur, Minn., canners of Green Giant products.
- J. J. McKelvey graduated in 1941, and wrote "A new entomogenous fungus parasitizing members of the Eriococcinae". McKelvey later was one of Harrar's assistants in the Rockefeller Foundation. J. W. Showalter graduated in 1941. His thesis was "Physiologic studies on some entomogenous fungi".
- R. P. Porter started under Harrar but graduated in 1942 under E. K. Vaughan. His thesis was titled "A study of Phomopsis blight on eggplant emphasizing seed treatment as a possible means of practical economic control". He became owner of a business for distributing chloropicrin.
Note that while Harrar was at V.P.I. most of his graduate students studied either diseases of ornamental plants or fungi infecting insects. It was claimed that he had the power virtually to eradicate mealy bugs from infested greenhouses by spraying them with macerated and diluted cultures of a fungus in the genus Beauveria. Porter, who wrote about Phomposis blight of eggplant, chose his thesis subject after Harrar had departed.
There is a personal sidelight concerning the work with entomogenous fungi. A medium for growing these fungi was based on egg yolks. I had been hired in fall of 1940 as a student employee on the National Youth Administration program (NYA, one of the New Deal projects), for the phenomenal sum of 25 cents/hr. I was assigned to Harrar. My first task was to wash the petri dishes that had been accumulated by Harrar's graduate students (Martland, McKelvey, and Showalter). I quickly found that agar easily washed from dishes but egg yolk required over-night soaking then a scraping with a scalpel before they could be washed. Dr. Orcutt complained to Harrar that I was painfully slow at the simple task of washing dishes. I asked Harrar to have Orcutt show me how to speed up the cleaning of egg yolk; he did and I heard no more from Orcutt.
It can be seen from the list of graduate students that the program was gaining momentum; three students earned M. S. degrees in 1941. Then the situation changed drastically; Harrar accepted the headship of the Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State Collage. This was a prestigious appointment as his predecessor was F. D. Heald, author of the very useful "Manual of Plant Diseases", and the textbook, "Introduction to Plant Pathology". The Washington State Department had become a world center for research on smut fungi.
At V.P.I., Harrar published 3 papers in The Plant Disease Reporter in 1936 and 7 abstracts in Phytopathology from 1938 to 1942, mostly about his student's thesis projects. He inserted himself as the senior author in contrast to present tradition. He published with his students a number of abstracts in the Proceedings of the Virginia Academy of Science and for the most part was senior author.
Apparently, J. M. Grayson, later to become head of the Department of Entomology, came under Harrar's influence and with Harrar in 1936, gave a paper on "Boxwood blight in Virginia". Among the fungi isolated only Verticillium sp. caused disease. In 1936, Harrar published a note in The Plant Disease Reporter describing the occurrence of, "Cercospora leaf spot of Calendula in Virginia" (20: 277-278); he reported it could be controlled with Bordeaux mixture, copper oxide, or sulfur dust. At the 1936 Virginia Academy of Sciences, Harrar and R. S. Mullin read a paper, "Cercospora leaf spot of Calendula species", in which they described isolates of Cercospora which failed to sporulate in culture, therefore, inoculations of Calendula had to be made with spores from lesions. Mullin, in the late 40's would be appointed to the position held by Harrar. In 1937, Harrar and L. I. Miller read a paper on, "A Phoma leaf spot and stem canker of Antirrhinum spp". Apparently this was the first report of this disease. At the year-end meetings of the American Phytopathological Society (A.P.S.) they read the same or similar paper (Phytopathology 28:8.1938). Miller then studied an entomogenous fungus; Harrar and Miller read a paper in 1938, "Studies on the morphology and physiology of a species of Entomophthora on Typhlocyba pomaria, the white apple leaf hopper" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1937-8). With Wingard they apparently read the same paper at the 1938 A.P.S. meetings under the title, "Cultural studies on a species of Entomophthora from the apple leaf hopper (Typhlocyba pomaria)" (Phytopathology 29:9. 1939).
The duplication of papers read at two meetings was also practiced with Martland, McKelvey, and Showalter. Harrar and Martland read papers, "The etiology of the Beauveria disease of Dendroctonus frontalis" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1940) and, "A fungus parasite of the pine bark beetle" (Phytopathology 30:8. 1940). Harrar and McKelvey read, "Biological control of the mealy bug" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1941) and "Biological control of the mealy bug (Pseudococcus spp.)" (Phytopathology 32:7). Harrar and Showalter read, "Physiologic studies of some entomogenous fungi" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1941) and Harrar, McKelvey, and Showalter read, "Parasitism of economic insects by fungi" (Phytopathology 31:10. 1941).
Harrar was the sole author of several publications and papers read at meetings. He listed the, "Powdery mildews collected in Virginia" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 20:278-279), described "blue rot of boxwood" (Phytopathology 28:8. 1938), "Hyphal structures of Fomes lignosus Klotzsch." (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1935-6), "Infection of Buxus semper-virens by Verticillium sp." (Ibid. 1936-7); Verticillium caused blue rot. He described, "Cladosporium leaf and stem disease of snapdragon" (Ibid. 1936-7). One of his students, G. W. Matheny, who was Barberry Eradication State Leader, U.S.D.A., presented papers based on his field work, "Stem rust control on small grains in Virginia by barberry eradication" (Ibid. 1936-7), and "Effects of four years of barberry eradication on stem rust of cereals in Virginia" (Ibid. 1937- 8). Matheny stated that since 1934, 83 million barberry bushels had been destroyed on 2300 properties and 800 sq. mi. The incidence of rust had gradually declined and infection had generally been delayed. Eradication near grain had virtually eliminated damage.
When Harrar departed in 1941, Edward K. Vaughan, another Minnesota graduate was appointed Associate Professor to replace him. He assumed the same teaching load but before he had been at V.P.I. for six months, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and war was declared. The number of students gradually declined. Vaughan continued teaching until June 1943 when he transferred to the Virginia Agricultural Extension Service. His activity as Extension Plant Pathologist will be described later. Vaughan was well-liked by Wingard, Henderson, and Shear. His hobbies were geography and telling raunchy stories. He shared them with all the staff but especially with Shear. Together, they shared many a thigh-slapping moment. He also shared them with me. During his tenure, the phrase, "that Minnesota crowd", faded away.
During the 1941- 42 session, Vaughan had an extremely busy year. He completed his dissertation entitled, "Bacterial wilt of tomato caused by Phytomonas solanacearum (E.F.S.) Bergey et al.", and was awarded the Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in August 1942. He also had to advise J. J. McKelvey and R. P. Porter through the final stages of their graduate programs. Both were carry-overs from Harrar's tenure. He was having to adjust to teaching, outlining courses and preparing lectures. He changed the Plant Pathology textbook to "Introduction to Plant Pathology" by F. D. Heald, 1937. His criticism of the Melhus and Kent book was that it lacked literature citations (not uncommon in those days); Heald's book lacked attention to bacterial wilts, fusarial wilts and tobacco mosaic, while Melhus and Kent covered these subjects well. However, there was no ideal general textbook available. Vaughan continued to use Boyce's "Forest Pathology" because there was no other choice.
The 1942-43 session was a little easier. There were no graduate students so Ruth McDonald was hired to assist with laboratories. She was a good teacher and an artist. In addition to her instructional duties, she prepared the illustration comparing Granville wilt, black shank, and sore skin of tobacco that appears on page 14 of "Important Tobacco Diseases in Virginia and Their Control" (Va. Agri. Ext. Div. Bul. 152, 1942, prepared by S. B. Fenne, Ext. Pl. Pathologist). During this session, the impact of World War II became severe. Full classes in the fall were depleted by the wartime draft such that by spring the remaining students were largely conscientious objectors, female, too young, or those deferred by physical impairments. For students and faculty it was a frustrating time; for those facing military duty, the future was uncertain.
An accelerated program had been initiated in the summer of 1942 so that classes were conducted four quarters a year. I graduated in June 1943 and immediately became a graduate research assistant and an advisee of Vaughan with aspirations of earning an M.S. degree in plant pathology. However on June 1, Vaughan had transferred to the Extension Service to replace S. B. Fenne who was on a war time assignment in Brazil. Nevertheless, he remained as my advisor until he resigned from V.P.I. in September 1944. He saw me through to completion of the M.S. degree in September, and acceptance in graduate work at the University of Minnesota. A. B. Massey was once again assigned to teach botany and plant pathology courses. I assisted him in the preparation and presentation of botany, plant physiology and pathology laboratories although I was a research assistant. Vaughan tutored me through mycology, cereal and fruit pathology, history of plant pathology and he took me on some of his Extension Service trips where I was the recipient of some interesting instruction in field plant pathology and extension procedures. My M.S. thesis was entitled "Studies in the physiology, genetics, and pathology of Colletotrichum phomoides (Sacc.) Chester, the cause of tomato anthracnose." The degree was granted at the end of the summer session, 1944. It was the last M.S. Degree granted in Plant Pathology in the Department of Biology. It was the only degree for which Vaughan was the sole advisor. Later, Vaughan referred to me as his first graduate student; I hope I made him proud. Through 1996, I was the only V.P.I. graduate to be named "Fellow" in the American Phytopathological Society; that gave him great satisfaction.
From fall of 1943 through summer of 1946, A. B. Massey taught whatever plant pathology was offered. When the catalogue for the 1946-47 session appeared (May 1946), Cereal and Fruit Pathology, Diseases of Special Crops, and Bacterial Diseases of Plants, were stricken from the list of courses. This was a step toward realism. It was also evident that the Ph.D. program in plant pathology was being shelved. Meanwhile, R. S. Mullin who had succeeded G. F. Matheny as Barberry Eradication Leader, made a deal with Wilson to the extent if he would earn a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology, he would be appointed Associate Professor of Biology in charge of botany and plant pathology. Mullin spent a year at Minnesota during which time he met the residency requirements and was admitted to candidacy. ( For other students, this took from 2 to 4 Years). When he was ready to return to V.P.I., Wilson had to renege on his offer. There were not enough students to justify his appointment but Wilson arranged to have him appointed Plant Pathologist at the Virginia Truck Experiment Station until the student enrollment would justify his appointment at V.P.I. From fall of 1945 to fall of 1946, Mullin worked on vegetable problems. In fall of 1946, Wilson fulfilled his promise and Mullin became Associate Professor of Biology. He remained at V.P.I. through the summer of 1948 when he decided he liked the Truck Station better than teaching. H. T. Cook had resign from the Station in September 1948 and Mullin was again appointed Plant Pathologist there. With Mullin gone in 1948, Massey probably taught Plant Pathology again in the 1948-49 year. Whatever the situation, Wilson was seeking a replacement for Mullin and again he sought help from E. C. Stakman of Minnesota and Axel Anderson was interviewed. Axel declined Wilson"s offer but Huey I. Borders then at the Homestead, Florida Station and also Minnesota-trained accepted an appointment. Two weeks before the opening of the 1949-50 session, Borders came to Blacksburg in search of housing. When he could find nothing suitable, he resigned the appointment and went back to Florida. Thus, Wilson's attempt to hire yet another Stakman-trained plant pathologist seemed hopeless. With the beginning of fall quarter bearing down on him and in urgent need of someone to teach plant physiology, Wilson conferred with President W. S. Newman declaring that the faculty in the Section of Plant Pathology and Botany ought to be responsible for plant physiology and pathology courses. Newman concurred and approached S. A. Wingard. Wingard's response was not to Wilson's liking. Newman would have to separate the Section into a department of its own; Newman agreed to do so and about September 10, 1949, the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology was established with Wingard as Head. It was the beginning of the end of Wilson's empire. Wingard had persevered for 14 years; his return to a headship was his reward for perseverance.
Nothing has been written about the projects and accomplishments in research and extension for the period 1935 through 1949. The accomplishments at Blacksburg, the Winchester, Charlottesville, Chatham and Holland field stations and the Truck Station can now be reviewed.
The publications prepared and issued in the second half of 1935 were reviewed at the end of the Wingard Era-I, 1928-1935. Perhaps the most significant event in 1936 was the establishment of a position for a plant pathologist at the Tobacco Research Station at Chatham. Joseph A. Pinckard became Assistant Plant Pathologist on March 1, 1936. He was appointed to the first new research pathology position established in the Department since 1923. Pinckard devoted much of his time to the control of blue mold.
Research reports appeared early in 1936 as a result of papers read at meetings. Hurt spoke on, "Control of fungous diseases of the peach," and, "The relative efficiency of fungicides" at the December 1935 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society [Va. Fruit 24 (1):123-127, 127-132. 1936]. In the first he covered peach leaf curl, scab, and brown rot. For leaf curl the emphasis was on dormant spraying with lime sulphur or Bordeaux mixture. Sulphur sprays were stressed for scab and early pink or bud and late pre-harvest sprays for brown rot. However, removal of mummies from trees and the ground is necessary for economical control. Finally, the peaches should be dusted with sulphur as they pass over the grading equipment.
In the second paper, Hurt noted that only sulphur and copper fungicides were available and both were damaging to the foliage and fruit. On the other hand, if no damage was sustained, the diseases probably would not be controlled.
At the same meeting, G. T. French, State Entomologist, spoke on, "Preventing introduction and spread of crop pests by quarantine and regulatory measures" [Va. Fruit 24 (1):60-66]. He summarized work on four diseases. White pine blister rust found in Virginia in 1931, is known on Ribes in nine counties, on pine in six counties; Dutch elm disease, found in Virginia in 1934, is known in Norfolk and Portsmouth; phony peach disease cause by a virus, is not verified to be in Virginia; it "spreads from roots only and the peach borer is thought to be the spreading agency." (Now known to be caused by a fastidious bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, transmitted by the sharp shooter leaf hopper). French reported on red cedar eradication in eleven counties in 1935, and litigation by several objectors to cedar eradication. He reminded growers to operate under the Cedar Rust Law.
At the year-end meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Dec. 31, 1935 to January 3, 1936, five papers were presented by Virginia Plant Pathologists. Cook described, "Cross inoculation and morphological studies on the Peronospora species occurring on Chenopodium album and Spinacea oleracea" (Phytopathology 26:89-90, 1936). He found differences in spore morphology and that the fungi did not cross-inoculate. He concluded they were distinct species. Cook and J. A. Callenback made a, "Comparison of the effectiveness of seed-treatment materials for prevention of seed and seedling decays in Eastern Virginia" (Ibid 26:90). Vasco 4, ZnO, CuO, and Semesan were effective in declining order listed in both field and greenhouse tests. Vasco 4 was ZnO with graphite added to eliminate clogging of planters.
Henderson described the, "Effect on nutrients on susceptibility of tobacco plants to downy mildew" (Ibid. 26:94). In low nitrogen, high potassium solutions, plants were susceptible; in high N, low K solutions; plants were resistant. He also described "Promising fungicides for tobacco downy mildew control" (Ibid. 26:94). Cuprous oxide and benzoic acid used with cottonseed oil emulsion were very effective.
Wingard described, "Parasitism of the apple leaf hopper, Typhlocyba pomaria, by Entomophthora" (Ibid. 26:113). After a wet period in late August 1935, leaf hopper infestation declined. It was found that many dead hoppers adhering to the leaves had been parasitized by a fungus identified as E. sphaerosperma.
Except for abstracts, there were no research publications by any Virginia plant pathologists in 1936, but there were numerous popular and semi-technical articles. R. J. Haskell of the Federal Extension Service published a review article, "Big yields by seed treatment" in the January Southern Planter [97 (1):7,26]. He emphasize the control of oat smuts and cotton seedling blight with organic Hg compounds, mostly formulations of ethyl mercury phosphate. He also recalled the successes that had occurred with ZnO + graphite in the control of spinach damping-off. The apple spray program for 1936 was published without new compounds or procedures being listed [Sou. Planter 97 (2):13]. It was as usual an extract from Va. Ext. Ser. Bul. 131, Rev. A. H. Teske was cited by E. R. Price, Extension Service Editor as recommending with emphasis dormant peach sprays to control peach leaf curl [Ibid. 97(2):23].
H. T. Cook of the Truck Station wrote about "Prevention of tomato diseases" [Ibid. 97 (2):12,17]. He emphasized good seed from healthy fruits, disinfestation with 1:2000 HgCl2 , followed by dusting of the dried seed with zinc oxide, red copper oxide or Vasco 4. Tomatoes should be grown in clean soil; i.e., that which had not produced tomatoes for 3 years. Seedlings should be dusted with copper-lime-arsenate or sprayed with a 3-4-50 formulation of Bordeaux mixture. Cook did not recommend fungicides for transplants.
There was a list of corn varieties recommend for the state by the Virginia Extension Service [Ibid. 97(5):8]. All were open-pollinated varieties. The green revolution from the introduction of the first wave of hybrids was still in the offing for Virginia.
In the Plant Disease Reporter (P.D.R.), 1936, Cook reported 6.4% of spinach plants were systemically infected with the downy mildew fungus but they survived the winter as well as non-infected ones (P.D.R. 20:118, 1936). He reported tomato losses due to bacterial canker in Accomac and Norfolk Cos. from Georgia-certified plants was as high as 50%. In one field, canker correlated with plants from one crate (P.D.R. 20:226). Sclerotium rolfsii killed 32% of the eggplants in one field (P.D.R. 20:227). Later, Cook reported that so-called Georgia - certified tomato plants furnished to growers by canners were not actually certified in Georgia but the seed had been treated with HgCl2. Some short cuts had been taken to avoid premium prices for certified plants. This would eventually bring the State Entomologist into the picture to provide sanity in the certified plant business.
Late in the year, bean rust became prevalent on fall beans. Sulfur dusting and spraying used for powdery mildew control did not work (P.D.R. 20:327). In another report, Cook found potato late blight in an area of Princess Anne (Virginia Beach) where it had never occurred before (Ibid. 327). Finally, he reported downy mildew of spinach had caused up to 50% damage in Tidewater, although it appeared one month later than usual (P.D.R. 20: 337).
Groves published a number of articles in Virginia Fruit wherein he continued the comprehensive description of individual apple diseases. It was proposed that these articles would eventually be assembled in an apple disease handbook (something that apparently never occurred). Topics covered in 1936 were, "Apple measles" [Va. Fruit 24 (2):28-30], "Apple scab" [Ibid. 24 (3):10-18], "Bitter rot of apple" [Ibid. 24 (5):12-16], "Fire blight of the apple" [Ibid. 24 (6):27-30], and "Spray injury on the apple fruit" [Ibid. 24 (9):16-22]. Groves reported early in 1936 that scab developed on apples in storage on fruit York and Grimes, even through no scab showed when the fruit were packed (P.D.R. 20:76). He commented on this phenomenon in the apple scab article above.
A brief note was to the effect that the Cedar Rust Law was amended in 1936 so that cedars could be removed to a distance of 3 miles from commercial apple orchards. Formerly, the distance was 2 miles [Va. Fruit 24 (4):12].
At the first Tobacco Disease Council held in Greensboro, N.C., November 6-7, 1935, S. A. Wingard was elected chairman and R. G. Henderson was elected secretary. The purpose of that meeting was to establish objectives, review tobacco disease problems, appoint committees, and select topics for future regional research. At the second meeting June 24-26, 1936, Tifton, Georgia, Wingard and Henderson continued to serve as elected in 1935. Committees on specific projects were established and chairmen were named:
- Committee on stem and root diseases, R. F. Poole, Chair.
- Committee on virus diseases, W. D. Valleau, Chair.
- Committee on leaf diseases, E. E. Clayton, Chair.
- Committee on disease survey, Luther Shaw, Chair.
- Committee on tobacco insects, W. D. Reed, Chair.
These chairmen, the council chairman and secretary comprised the Executive Committee. The various diseases of tobacco were reviewed in informal presentations with most attendees participating. None of the Virginia delegates contributed to the discussions. Presumably, Wingard and Henderson were busy with their elected duties and Pinckard was too new to the group.
In 1937, Henderson was promoted to Associate Plant Pathologist, J. M. Bell Assistant Plant Pathologist of the Truck Station resigned January 15, and T. J. Nugent was appointed to replace him on September 1. Luben Bozovaisky (=L. Spasoff) began working at Chatham on a wage basis. In a letter me, Pinckard related how Spasoff, a soil scientist rather than a plant pathologist, became a member of the group at Chatham. Pinckard wrote: "I had just finished building the laboratory at Chatham when Luben knocked on our door. He had taken a bus from Ames, Iowa, to Chatham and walked the three or four miles to the laboratory hoping for a job. It was depression times and a strange place for a Bulgarian to look for a job---in the South of all places. I could not turn a man like Luben away, however, so I offered him hourly work, temporarily and found him a place to live. Later, Sam Wingard and Dr. Drinkard (our director) made his job permanent at a better salary".
The 28th annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held December 28-31, 1936. Abstracts of papers presented were publish in 1937. Henderson presented, "Histological studies of infection and sporulation of Peronospora tabacina in tobacco seedlings" (Phytopathology 27:131, 1937). He described direct penetration of epidermal cells by appressoria, infection hyphae, subepidermal vesicles, and haustoria. This was in contrast to the penetration of stomata by germ tubes as shown by Wolf (Tobacco Diseases and Decays. Duke University Press. Durham. N.C. 454 pp. 1935) As previously noted, Harrar described "Cercospora leaf spot of Calendula" (Ibid. 27:130). Cook described, "Germination of conidia of Peronospora effusa from spinach" (Ibid. 27:124), and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on Pyrethrum" (Ibid. 27:124-125) in experimental plantings at the Truck Station. The fungus killed many plants in the spring 1936 (although reported as in 1930). Henderson published a , "Report of the Tobacco Disease Council in the summary of the business meeting of the annual meeting (Ibid. 27:658-659). Otherwise, Virginia's plant pathologists published nothing further in Phytopathology 27.
Only Hurt spoke at the December 8-10, 1936 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society. His talk was published the following January. [R. H. Hurt. Home made wettable sulphur as a peach fungicide. Va. Fruit 25 (1):201-204. 1937] Two methods, tank mix and bucket mix, were described. Hurt emphasized that home made wettable sulphur was much cheaper than commercial products.
Several Experiment Station bulletins were published by plant pathologists in 1937. Hurt issued a two-part bulletin "1. The Control of Peach Curl, Scab, and Brown Rot. 2. Spray Materials for Peaches" (Va. Agri Expt. Sta. Bul. 312). Most peach sprays were various sulphur, lime sulphur or Bordeaux mixture formulations and their use has been noted previously.
Wingard and Henderson prepared the blue mold portion of, "Control of Tobacco Blue Mold (Downy Mildew) and Tobacco Flea Beetle" (Ibid 313. 1937). They reported that blue mold was first found in Virginia 1931, was damaging in 1932, -33,-37. Symptoms and etiology were described, and control measures were enumerated.
Three methods were emphasized:
- Cultural methods which included site selection, rotation, and sanitation.
- Fumigation with benzol.
- Spraying with a yellow copper oxide-cotton seed oil .
No experiments were described.
Henderson summarized his studies on tobacco blue mold and for his efforts won the 1937 J. Shelton Horsley Award for research offered by the Virginia Academy of Science (R. G. Henderson. Studies on Tobacco Downy Mildew in Virginia. Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 1937). Henderson gave detailed accounts of the histology of spore germination, penetration of leaves mostly through upper epidermis, and subsequent development of substomatal vesicles and haustoria. He described experiments upon effects of nutrition wherein plants supplied high amounts of nitrogen and low amounts of potassium were more resistant to downy mildew than those supplied low N and high K. Sprays of cuprous oxide proved to be superior to sprays of Bordeaux mixture, calcium monosulfide, benzoic acid, and other lesser known fungicides.
Cook published "Spinach and Cabbage Seed Treatment" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul 96. 1937) which was a summary of experiments during the past 5 years. Zinc oxide and red copper oxide were best for spinach and zinc oxide was best for cabbage. Both compounds require added graphite to reduce friction and clogging of seeders. Cook also published, "Watermelon Wilt and Resistant Varieties for its Control" (Ibid. 97:1937). The disease was found in Virginia in 1918, and did severe damage near Smithfield in 1933. Cook described and illustrated the disease and stated that is seed-borne. Treatment with HgCl2 , 1:1000, disinfects the seed. A wilt resistant variety, 'Hawkesbury', from Australia was superior to moderately resistant 'Leesburg' and 'Klondike'. In a paper presented to the Association of Official Seed Analysts, Aug. 1937, "Vegetable-seed treatment experiments and practices in Virginia", Cook paraphrased Bulletin 96 and described treatments tried on tomato, kale, and cucurbits. He attempted to find the highest concentration of material that would control seed- borne pathogens without causing seedling injury.
Groves published a paper, "Common non-parasitic diseases of the apples" [Va. Fruit 25 (4):22-26. 1937], which addressed bitter pit, cork, water core and fruit cracking. Internal cork and bitter pit were believed to be caused by boron deficiency. At present corking is known to be caused by B deficiency but bitter pit is now attributed to high N and K levels and low Ca levels interacting with irregular water supply. Groves attributed water core to high fruit temperatures. Presently, water core is associated with low Ca and high N and over-ripe fruit at harvest. Fruit cracking was attributed to several environmental factors and genetic proneness. This is also the case at present.
In The Southern Planter, vol. 98, 1937, a few items but no major articles appeared. The annual spray calendar did not list any new fungicides or procedures [98 (2):4]; the editor reviewed previous articles by Cook and Haskell in, "Seed treatment controls seed-borne diseases" [98 (2):24]. E. T. Batten in an article on, "Peanut production" denied control of leaf spot was necessary but acknowledged its presence and increasing intensity [98 (3) 6,24]. In the Truck, Garden, and Orchard section under "Start right with tomato plants, it was mistakenly stated that late blight is seed-born in tomato. Early blight is but late blight is not. Bichloride of mercury and dust treatments were recommended to control bacterial diseases, early blight, and damping-off [98 (3):40]. Cook provided a vegetable seed treatment chart for 13 crops or crop groups. Inorganic Cu, Zn, and Hg compounds predominated, but organic Hg (Semesan) was recommended for cabbage, peas, and watermelon [98 (4):40]. Godkin promoted cotton seed treatment with 2% Ceresan for control of damping-off and seed rot [98 (4):25].
Federal and state pathologists contributed several items to The Plant Disease Reporter, (P.D.R) vol. 21, 1937. M. E. Fowler (U.S.D.A.) reported the first occurrence in Virginia of wilt (Verticillium albo-atrum) of smoke tree (Cotinus coggygnia) at Mt. Vernon in 1936 (P.D.R. 21:10). Cook (Truck Station) reported the first occurrence of powdery mildew (Erysiphe polygoni) on kale in Virginia (P.D.R. 21:141). There were several disease status reports on tobacco (Pinckard, Godkin, Henderson, P.D.R. 21:27-29; P. R. Miller, (U.S.D.A.) 21:185, 260; and Tobacco Disease Survey Committee, including Godkin 21:44- 50). Downy mildew caused little damage in 1936 but was very destructive in 1937. Groves reported on the progress of quince rust, apple powdery mildew and peach leaf curl and Wingard reported on stem rot of clover and alfalfa and on general prevalence of cereal powdery mildew (P.D.R. 21:174).
P.R. Miller and Godkin reported that 2% Ceresan seed treatments greatly improved cotton stands. Growers were convinced they should treat future seed lots (P.D.R. 21:211-212). Matheny in reports on cereal rusts stated leaf rust was heavy on wheat, barley and rye, and stem rust was very heavy near barberry bushes; it was scored as high as 47% on rye, 70% on wheat, and trace on barley while none occurred on oats (P.D.R. 21:199, 224). Harrar listed some unusual diseases of ornamental plants; namely, Cladosporuim leaf and stem blight and Phoma leaf spot and stem canker of snapdragon, and Verticillium stem rot of boxwood (P.D.R. 21:218). Harrar and Wingard listed the occurrence of sycamore anthracnose, maple leaf blight, oak leaf spot, and Gloeosporium leaf spot of elm and ash (P.D.R. 21:218). Cook stated that in the fall of 1937, potato late blight occurred again in Princess Anne Co. (=Virginia Beach), and bean powdery mildew was severe after the second week in October. In one test, U.S. Mosaic Resistant Refugee No.5 was also mildew resistant. Bean rust was locally severe, spinach downy mildew was mild, and spinach Fusarium wilt caused some fields to be replanted (P.D.R. 21:426-427).
The federal quarantine on rust-susceptible barberry bushes was extended in 1937 to include Virginia. Black shank of tobacco occurred in Virginia for the first time in summer of 1937 but this event was not reported until 1939 (Wingard, P.D.R. 23:369-370).
The Third Annual Conference of the Tobacco Disease Council met July 7-8, 1937 at Florence, S.C. S. A. Wingard was elected permanent Secretary. Pinckard contributed a "Preliminary report on the occurrence of tobacco mosaic in random samples of flue-cured tobacco collected from the market". He reported a low level of virus in leaves collected at the market, but that leaves of infected 'Yellow Mammoth' collected in summer of 1936, when tested for virus, caused symptoms in inoculated plants through to spring of 1937. Chewing tobacco is much less infectious than cigarette tobacco because the former is cured at "° F. Experiments on the relationship between curing temperature and virus inactivation are needed.
Pinckard contributed a comprehensive review of tobacco black root rot and its causative fungus and listed 10 suggestions for further study. He also reviewed his results with benzol vapors for control of downy mildew. Henderson described his results with copper oxide- cottonseed oil sprays for control of downy mildew.
In 1938, there were several staff changes in plant pathology; in May, L. I. Miller was appointed Freeport Sulphur Fellow and was stationed at Holland; in June he received the M. S. degree from V.P.I. after having been an advisee of J. G. Harrar for two years. On June 30, James Godkin resigned his position as Extension Plant Pathologist. Sometime in 1938, probably July 1, Luben Spasoff Bozovaisky was appointed Senior Scientific Aide at the Tobacco Station in Chatham. He would work under the direction of Pinckard. Wingard began a term as American Phytopathological Society representative to the AAAS council.
Early in 1938, the abstracts of the December 27-30, 1937 meetings of the American Phytopathological Society appeared in Phytopathology. Cook and Nugent reported on the increasing prevalence of "Fusarium wilt and stunt of spinach in Virginia" (28:5). Harrar reported that Verticillium spp. caused, "Blue rot of boxwood" (28:8) and Harrar and L. I. Miller described, "Phoma (Phyllosticta) antirrhini in Virginia "as a seed-and soil-borne pathogen of widespread occurrence in the state (28:8). Pinckard described, "The effect of flue-curing on the survival of ordinary tobacco virus 1" (28:18). This was the same report he gave at the 1937 Tobacco Disease Council meeting.
Groves and Hurt were as usual invited to speak at the December 1937 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society and their papers were published in Virginia Fruit 26 (1). 1938. Groves spoke on, "Copper fungicides in Virginia " [26 (1):70-74]. He commented that Bordeaux mixture, the standard copper fungicide for apples, frequently causes injury to fruit and foliage. Eight copper compounds and several modifications of Bordeaux mixture had been tested. Although some were less phytotoxic than Bordeaux, they were also less fungicidal. He concluded it was not yet time to abandon Bordeaux mixture.
Hurt spoke on, "The Virginia spray program" [26 (1):91-94]. He emphasized the application of dormant sprays to control peach leaf curl. One should use either lime-sulphur or Bordeaux mixture, the latter being preferred if an oil emulsion is also applied for scale control. Subsequent sprays with lime-sulphur and sulphur were recommended for pink, mid- season and preharvest sprays. The preparation of various sulphur sprays was discussed.
Later, Groves published on, "Spray injuries to apple foliage and bark" [26 (3):16-30]. He discussed factors influencing injury (temperature and humidity extremes, rainfall and drought, weathering and age of materials, residual effects and build-up of spray materials, spray combinations and correctives, manner of application, condition of equipment, condition of the tree, spray water, age of leaves and wood, orchard locations) and common types of spray injuries (sulphur, arsenical, copper, oils, tar distillate and cresylic injury, fluorine bearing materials, and lime). Most of the injuries caused by fungicides and oil sprays were illustrated. In 1946, Groves would publish bulletins on this subject.
A bulletin written by a committee of tobacco workers from Duke University, the Extension Service and Experiment Stations of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia entitled "Blue Mold (Downy Mildew) of Tobacco and its Control" was published as Va. Agri. Expt.. Sta. Bul. 318. Wingard, Henderson and Pinckard were the committeemen from Virginia. Although Henderson had shown in Technical Bulletin 62 (1939) that the fungus penetrates directly through epidermal cells, the bulletin has an illustration from Wolf's book on tobacco diseases showing that the fungus penetrates via germ tubes entering stomata. This indirect penetration is not erroneous but it is much less frequent than direct penetration.
Groves, in a paper, "The relation of concentration of fungicides and bud development to control of peach leaf curl" (Phytopathology 28:170-179. 1938), stated that peach leaf curl could be controlled with much weaker concentrations of lime-sulphur (1:50) and Bordeaux mixture (2-4-100) than had been recommended. Good control was obtained with sprays applied when leaves were protruding as much as one inch. This information provided the grower more latitude for spraying and considerable savings in fungicide costs.
No other major publications were issued in 1938; however, a number of disease reports and popular articles were issued. Cook at the Truck Station reported that late blight was destroying potatoes in storage on Eastern Shore (Plant Dis. Repts. 22:24); that Sclerotinia stem rot destroyed 25% of the plants in Princess Anne Co. (=Virginia Beach) in February (Ibid. 22: 91); that an occurrence of potato late blight in spring of 1938 was the first ever in Accomac and Princess Anne Cos., although fall occurrences were common (Ibid. 22:196). He also reported abundant occurrences of potato early blight and black leg, celery late blight and snap bean halo blight (Ibid. 22:197); that potato late blight which was first noticed on June 6, spread rapidly in June when moisture and temperature favored the disease (Ibid 22: 239); a summary of the situation was given in November. The most destructive incidence of late blight ever known on the early crop occurred in 1938 (Ibid. 22:419-420). Wingard added a note that potato late blight and soft rot were very prevalent in the Blacksburg area (Ibid. 22: 420). Late blight was so destructive nationally in 1938 that the editor was moved to cite Liam O'Flaherty's novel "Famine" which was based on the appalling effects of late blight in Ireland, and H. G. Wells' "Shape of Things to Come" in which it was predicted that, "All disease, human, animal and plant, is eradicated from the earth". The editor doubted this Utopian situation would ever be achieved and, "That there will always be a need for the work of plant pathologists---". (Ibid. 22:423-424).
In other reports, T. W. Turner of the Hampton Institute observed Botrytis stem rot destroying tomatoes in greenhouses (Ibid. 22:91) and southern blight (Sclerotium rolfsii) being very destructive to peanuts on the Institute Farm (Ibid. 22:452); R.G. Henderson reported two severe occurrences of corn leaf blight (Helminthosporium turcicum); and J. W. Taylor (U.S.D.A., Arlington Farm) stated that wheat leaf rust, stem rust, powdery mildew, and Septoria were very common (Ibid. 22:301). T. J. Nugent of the Truck Station reported an outbreak of watermelon downy mildew at Smithfield and the Station. In the latter case, all plants were killed a few days after the disease was first observed. Cook described a late but destructive outbreak of spinach downy mildew on Eastern Shore and around Norfolk (Ibid. 22:462). Finally, Pinckard at the Chatham Tobacco Research Station reported that downy mildew caused some damage to field tobacco plants in the Danville area (Ibid. 22:203). Conditions were highly favorable for the development of downy mildew diseases in Virginia in 1938.
Wingard contributed three major articles on tobacco diseases to The Southern Planter in 1938. In each article, he described and illustrated a disease, explained how it was spread, how it overwintered, and how to control it. The diseases were blue mold [Sou. Pl. 99 (1):6, 19], tobacco mosaic [Ibid. 99 (6):4, 10-11], and Granville wilt [Ibid. 99 (7):10] An article by E. E. Clayton and J. K. McClarren (U.S.D.A.) on blue mold was similar to Wingard's [Ibid. 99 (2):15, 41].
Hurt contributed an article, "Peach sprays" in which he described leaf curl, scab, and brown rot and described sprays for their control [Ibid. 99 (3):5]. There was an anonymous article on small grain seed treatment in which formalin was recommended for oats, copper carbonate for wheat and New Improved Ceresan (=ethyl mercury phosphate) was recommended for all small grains [Ibid. 99 (4):10].
White pine blister rust was found in Bath and Nelson Cos., the southern-most known occurrence of the disease and in response to recent damaging outbreaks of wheat stem rust, Virginia State Quarantine No. 4 was enacted, enabling barberry eradication in 13 counties and barring movement and planting of rust-susceptible Berberis and Mahonia spp. This was in support of the federal barberry eradication program.
The appointment of S. B. (Chuck) Fenne as Extension Plant Pathologist was effective January 1, 1939. Fenne's appointment included Extension work in both plant pathology and entomology. There were no other staff changes in 1939.
Early publications in 1939 resulted from papers read at meetings held in December 1938. The American Phytopathological Society met in Richmond, Virginia December 27-30, 1938. Wingard was an APS representative to the AAAS. Several papers were read by Virginia plant pathologists.
Cook and Nugent of the Truck Station described, "The Hawkesbury watermelon, a promising wilt-resistant variety" (Phytopathology 28:7). They described tests in Fusarium-infested soil, and the characteristics of the melon which growers found acceptable. Nugent and Cook described tests with "Chloropicrin as a seed disinfectant for control of black rot of kale" (Ibid. 28:21). They found that fumigations at various rates were as effective as treatment with bichloride of mercury. Nothing was said about the irritating effects of the product which is tear gas. Groves gave two papers on his work with sulphur particle size. In, "Observations on the supposed colloidal state of sulphur in fused bentonite sulphur" (Ibid. 28:10), he reported that the sulphur occurred as large particles and in lime-sulphur preparations no colloidal state existed. In "Particle size of elementary sulphur fungicides" (Ibid. 28:10), he described the advantages of photomicrography for determining particle size. Groves would continue this work for several years and would publish two bulletins on the subject. Harrar, Miller, and Wingard described, "Cultural studies on a species of Entomophthora from the apple leaf hopper (Typhlocyba pomaria)" (Ibid. 28:11). They reported that it was difficult to distinguish species of the fungus by morphology but that physiologic criteria appeared useful. Hurt described the pros and cons of, "Bordeaux mixture as a summer fungicide for peaches" (Ibid. 28: 13). The fungicide was acceptable except as a pre-harvest spray when its use caused fruit spotting and it had to be removed by brushing. In, "Removal of spray residue with sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, and acetic acid" (Ibid. 28: 14), three steps involving a NaOH/Na2 CO3 bath, an acetic acid bath, and an H2O rinse were effective in removing lead and arsenic residues and destroying mold spores without injury to four apple varieties. Miller, E. T. Batten, the Holland station superintendent, and Wingard described experiments on, "Control of Cercospora leaf spot of peanut with copper and sulphur fungicides" (Ibid. 28: 20). Either Bordeaux mixture or dusting sulphur controlled leaf spot but without causing injury. Lime-sulphur controlled leaf spot but was phytotoxic and wettable sulphur failed to control leaf spot.
At the December 1938 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, Hurt and Groves were invited speakers. As indicated by President Frank H. Wissler's introduction, Hurt was highly regarded by the Society as, "A man whose ability we greatly appreciate and from whose instruction we profit very greatly". Hurt's first talk was on "Bitter rot in Virginia and its control" [Va. Fruit 27 (1):58-60. 1939]. There was no new information. In a discussion of "Peach fungicides" [Ibid. 27 (1):137-139], Hurt emphasized the injuries caused by Bordeaux mixture and sulphur products. To reduce such effects, he advised careful adherence to recommendations in spray calendars. Groves emphasized apples in, "Fungicides and injuries to fruit and foliage" [Ibid. 27 (1):122-123]. He prescribed the use of sulphur in early cover sprays to avoid injury from Bordeaux mixture, but the use of Bordeaux thereafter. Early use of Bordeaux gave the highest fruit weight. Groves attributed this to the "corrective action on lead arsenate and not to disease control".
Two brief articles, one by G. T. French, State Entomologist at Richmond, and one issued anonymously warned peach growers about the "X" disease present in northeastern states. According to French, the disease, similar to yellows and little peach, is transmitted by budding and probably by some insect from choke-cherries (Prunus virginiana). Growers should remove infected trees, destroy choke-cherry trees, obtain stock from uninfested areas, and insist on a valid certification of inspection [Ibid. 27 (3):10; 27(12):6,8]. (Note: Peach X disease is now known to be caused by a mycoplasma-like organism, MLO, transmitted by the leaf hoppers Colladomus sp. and Scophytopius sp.)
Only Pinckard and L. Spasoff Bozovaisky of the Chatham Tobacco Station published research papers in 1939. Pinckard and Luther Shaw of the North Carolina Experiment Station and Extension Service gave a detailed account of the development of "Downy mildew infection of flue-cured tobacco in the field" (Phytopathology 29:79-83. 1939). The disease was well- illustrated and described. A prolonged rainy period and cool temperature favored spread of the downy mildew fungus from seed beds into fields during May 1938. Subsequently, growers were urged to destroy seed-bed plants as soon as transplanting was completed.
In cooperation with research workers at Duke University, F. R. Darkis, P. M. Gross, Ruth McClean and F. A. Wolf, Pinckard published a series of papers on benzol and paradichlorobenzol fumigation to control tobacco downy mildew. Eight publications spanning two years with Pinckard as an author appeared in Phytopathology on the subject (29:16-17, 103-120, 177-187, 216-219; 30:16-17,19, 213-227, 485-495, 495-506). The research led to seed beds designed with nearly air tight sides over which were spread two layers of cloth, the lower of netting over which crystals of paradichlorobenzol were spread uniformly, the upper of tightly woven cloth stretched thereover and which was soaked with water. The crystals were applied in the evening and the upper cloth was removed after 12 hours; the procedure was carried out on several successive nights during which the fungus in plant tissues was killed. This is one of a few cases where the fungus is eradicated from host tissues without causing host damage. Although modern fungicides adequately control blue mold, some growers still find the method practical for eradicating the fungus after it has appeared in a seed bed. The work was timely as it provided a procedure that did not require use of strategic materials during World War II.
Pinckard and Spasoff (Bozovaisky) evaluated, "Carbon dioxide evolution from certain soils in relation to black root rot of flue-cured tobacco" (Ibid. 29:751). They could establish no relationship between presence or absence of Thielaviopsis basicola and CO2 evolution. Perhaps the most significant report on plant diseases in Virginia was that authored by Wingard on the "Discovery of tobacco black shank in Virginia" (Plant Dis. Rept.. 23:369-370. 1939). Black shank was diagnosed for the first time from plants collected at Nathalie, Halifax Co. July 14, 1939, and Buffalo Junction, Mecklenburg Co., July 15. Upon investigation, it was found that black shank inoculum had been brought into the Mecklenburg farm on tobacco seedlings originating at Winterville, N.C. in 1937. The source of inoculum for the Halifax site was never determined although it was present there in 1938. Though not reported, some damage was sustained in 1938.
In other items, Miller elaborated on his 1938 experiments to control peanut leaf spot (Ibid. 23:5-6). Cook reported a recurrence of white rot of onion (Sclerotium cepivorum) in Warwick Co., Dec. 14, 1938, across the road from where McWhorter had found it in 1924 and 1925. No onions had been grown for 15 years on the affected site but 75% of the crop was lost. This says something about the ability of fungi to survive. Cook also found potato late blight in Northampton Co. on Eastern Shore on May 9. Favorable conditions occurred in the region for blight to attack early potatoes for the second successive year. Wingard found wheat leaf rust on March 3 in Wythe Co., wheat powdery mildew in Montgomery Co., March 17, and barley leaf rust in Powhatan, March 21; these were the earliest records for these diseases although we know now over-wintering does occur (Ibid. 23:97). White pine blister rust was found in Greene, Highland, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, and Warren Cos. for the first time in 1938 (Ibid. 23:58-63). Fenne found Sclerotinia trifoliorum killing clover in Southside Virginia, and reported that root knot was forcing farmers to discontinue production of certified sweet potatoes in Caroline Co. (Ibid. 23:98). Blue mold was found throughout the flue-cured tobacco area and would cause a plant shortage. In demonstrations, benzol, paradichlorobenzine, and red copper oxide-cotton seed oil sprays gave good control (Ibid. 23:153).
In The Southern Planter, an anonymous article emphasized blue mold control should be implemented by using materials cited above by Fenne [Sou. Planter 100 (1):21, 1939]. The apple and peach spray calendars were published in February [Ibid. 21 (2):20,23]; no organic products were mentioned. Fenne authored an article on "Tobacco root knot control", in which the disease was described and illustrated. A three-year rotation was prescribed [Ibid. 21 (5):12].
The 5th annual conference of Tobacco Disease Council was held in Greeneville, Tenn., Aug. 8-10, 1939. Henderson described experiments in breeding tobacco for mosaic resistance. "Ambalema' and the "Holmes hybrid' were sources of resistance. F1 plants (Holmes x flue- cured) inoculated with virus developed stem necrosis and died. Eliminating Ambalema leaf type and retaining resistance was difficult. G. M. Shear discussed frenching of tobacco and described experiments which discarded thallium as a cause of frenching. Henderson reported that most commercial varieties of tobacco were susceptible to black root rot. An exception was the flue-cured variety was "Yellow Special". Resistant Turkish varieties crossed with susceptible domestic varieties have produced promising progenies. The use of paradichlorobenzine for blue mold control was discussed thoroughly. Although Pinckard had participated with the Duke University people in developing this material, he did not attend the conference.
In the annual report of the Extension Plant Pathologist, Fenne cited demonstrations with cotton to control damping-off by seed treatment with 2% Ceresan, and stated that control of the wheat gall nematode in Pulaski Co. could recoup enough funds to pay for Extension Service in that county for several years.
A summary of events in plant pathology for the decade 1930 through 1939 seems in order because the involvement of the U.S.A. in World War II would change the complexion on almost everything academic, investigational, social, and extensional in the 1940's. The Agricultural Experiment Station staff in Plant Pathology grew by the addition of Pinckard and Miller. Fenne replaced Godkin in Extension, Harrar was appointed to take over instruction, Cook replaced McWhorter and Nugent was added at Norfolk. Plant pathologists employed by Virginia on Dec. 31, 1939 totaled ten. New diseases were reported: 1930 - spinach Fusarium wilt, snap bean powdery mildew, and onion white rot; 1931 - white pine blister rust; 1932 - mosaic of wheat; 1934 - Dutch elm disease; 1937 - kale powdery mildew, tobacco black shank; 1938 - potato late blight in the early crop.
Other events were the industry-saving development of spinach seed treatments by Cook and Callenback, and vegetable seed treatments by Cook and Nugent, enactment of Federal quarantines against Dutch elm disease and barberry in Virginia, extensive investigation of blue mold of tobacco by Henderson, development of control measures using benzol and paradichlorobenze by Pinckard and Duke University investigators, the incorporation of the Department of Plant Pathology and Botany into the Biology Department, and enrollment of the author in the Biology curriculum at V.P.I.
In the 1940's, the U.S.A. would become entangled in World War II. This conflict would dictate many changes in the academic arena as students and faculty would be drafted into military service, and the tenor of research would shift toward military necessity and food for victory. The need to accelerate agricultural productivity became a national necessity. Rubber, fuel, meat, and sugar became luxuries as for the average American; these products went to war. However, for many, the ominousness of the situation did not strike home until December 7, 1941. Nothing could have more dramatically marshaled the nation into a feeling of urgency. The 1940's demonstrate how a science dedicated to protecting food and fiber responded to national needs but through 1940 and 1941 there was no evidence in plant pathology of impending calamity.
During 1940, Lawrence Miller, after having served for two years as a Freeport Sulphur Fellow, was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist at the Tidewater Research Station, Holland, Nansemond Co. (now Suffolk). He would for the moment continue his work to control peanut leaf spot, but other problems would command his attention. Pinckard was promoted to Associate Plant Pathologist. There were no other staff changes.
The American Phytopathological Society met in Columbus, Ohio, December 27-30, 1939 and published abstracts of papers in January 1940. In the minutes of the meeting, Wingard ended a 2-year appointment as representative to A.A.P.S., Pinckard was appointed to the Committee on Advisory on Society Activities and Programs and the Committee on Publicity and Public Relations. Cook was to serve on the Committee on Coordination in Cereal and Vegetable Seed Treatment Research. These activities were the first services to the Society by Virginians since 1928.
Five papers by Virginia workers were read at Columbus. Cook and Nugent described, "Sweet-potato-storage house fumigation", with chloropicrin and formaldehyde (Phytopathology 30:4, 1940). Harrar and Martland described, "A fungous parasite of the pine bark beetle which was classified as a Beauveria sp. (Ibid. 30:8). Henderson and Wingard discussed "Spraying tomatoes for disease control" (Ibid. 30:9). Yellow copper oxide was superior to red copper oxide in two formulations. All treatments increased yields by lengthening the production period and reducing damage from Septoria, Alternaria and late blight. Ruth McClean (of Duke Univ.) and Pinckard reported on "Field studies on paradichlorobenzene in the control of tobacco downy mildew" (Ibid. 30:16).
The significance is that the chemical has an eradicant effect on the parasite without injuring the host. The studies were conducted to refine recommendations for use of the chemical. Pinckard and McClean described, "A laboratory method for determining the fungicidal value of vapors and its application to paradichlorobenze in control of tobacco downy mildew" (Ibid. 30:19). The Virginia State Horticultural Society also met on December 1939 and published the proceedings in January 1940. G. T. French, the State Entomologist, warned growers about, "The peach X-disease or the yellow-red virosis disease [Va. Fruit 28 (1):44-45, 1940]. This paper was a review of literature. Hurt spoke on, "Spraying grapes" [Ibid. 28 (1):160-163]. The most important "diseases affecting grapes in Virginia are powdery and downy mildew, and black rot. Anthracnose, bitter rot and dead arm disease sometimes cause injury". Three sprays were recommended; pre-bloom, post bloom, and just before berries touch, with 6-8- 100 Bordeaux mixture usually suffice. In addition he recommended that growers remove mummies and all crop residue. Since new growth is hard to wet, add soybean flour or fish oil soap to Bordeaux mixture. Remove residues in dips of dilute hydrochloric or acetic acid. These comments were prompted by the fact that because of black rot, 1939 was one of the worst years for grape growers. R. C. Moore, Assistant Horticulturist at V.P.I. who had minored in plant pathology, spoke on the, "Apple breeding program - cedar rust inheritance" [Ibid. 28 (1):163-166]. His results with cedar-apple rust resistance are summarized in the following crosses:
- Jonathan x Rome Beauty - progeny all susceptible
- Arkansas Black x Mother - progeny all resistant
- Arkansas Black x Delicious - progeny all resistant
- Winesap x Jonathan - 1/2 resistant
- Winesap x Rome Beauty - 1/2 resistant
- Winesap x Delicious - 3/4 resistant
- Arkansas Black was thought to be homozygous resistant.
Bulletins were published by three agencies in 1940. Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 324 entitled, "Blue Mold (Downy Mildew) of Tobacco and its Control", was published anonymously by cooperating states Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It included for the first time comprehensive descriptions of fumigation with benzol and paradichlorobenzene; otherwise, it was a reprint of Bulletin 318. No doubt Pinckard and Henderson were the contributors from Virginia. Cook and Nugent at the Truck Station published, "The Control of Truck Crop Diseases in Tidewater Virginia" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul. 104). They reviewed diseases on 28 vegetable crops plus southern blight, root knot, and damping-off of crops in general. They divided the information into three sections:
- Importance, nature, and methods of control.
- Disease control programs for specific diseases.
- Preparation and use of fungicides; soil sterilization.
Wingard later described this as a manual "Written in a new style in which the control measures were given for the disease of the crop as a whole rather than for individual diseases. This arrangement made the manual much more practical for use by county agents, agricultural teachers, and farmers" (S. A. Wingard, The role of plant pathology in Virginia agriculture, Pl. Dis. Reptr. Suppl. 200:36-41, 1951). The first bulletin prepared by S. B. Fenne was, "Information Insecticides and Fungicides" (Va. Coop. Ext. Div. Bul. 150, 1940). The bulletin covered principles of insect and disease control and available products. Except for organic mercury compounds, no organic fungicides were mentioned.
Several journal articles about tobacco downy mildew control research were issued by Pinckard and his cooperators at Duke University, namely, Ruth McClean, F. R. Darkis, F. A. Wolf, and P. M. Gross. The titles clearly express their contents:
- Volatile fungicides, benzol and related compounds, and the principles involved in their use. Phytopathology 30:213-227. 1940.
- Toxicity of paradichlorobenzene in relation to control of tobacco downy mildew. Ibid 30:485-495.
- The use of paradichlorobenzene in seedbeds to control tobacco downy mildew. Ibid. 30:495-506.
The third paper above is devoted to refining the techniques of on-farm use of paradichlorobenzene; 1.5 to 3 lbs. of PDB per 100 sq. yds. at a temperature of 7° C or above applied on 2 or 3 successive nights controlled downy mildew. The fungus in host tissue was killed. In attempts to induce farmers to use PDB, Fenne in his annual report for 1940 stated farmers were reluctant to invest in cloth covers and many were reluctant to spray or fumigate until severe damage had occurred.
A record of prevalent and damaging diseases may be gleaned from The Plant Disease Reporter for 1940:
- Cook found potato bacterial ring rot in Virginia for the first time on March 7, in Nansemond Co. and June 19 in Princess Anne Co. Some uncertified seed potatoes were the source (P.D.R. 24:252, 1940).
- Nugent eliminated kale black rot from seed by hot water treatment, but inoculum apparently survived elsewhere (Ibid. 24:84-85).
- Miller reported that 4 or 5 applications of sulfur beginning July 15, 1939 gave excellent control of peanut leaf spot (Ibid. 24:63-64).
- A. G. Johnson and C. L. Lefebvre (U.S.D.A.) found alfalfa downy mildew and bacterial wilt on April 18 in a field near Culpeper that had been seeded in fall of 1939 (Ibid. 24:185).
- Fenne found wheat and barley leaf rusts and powdery mildew to be generally prevalent. Barley smut was severe in Botetourt and wheat gall nematode caused losses in Grayson and Montgomery Cos. (Ibid. 24:207).
In other notes Fenne in P.D.R. 24 reported tomato late blight (p.329) and early blight to be very severe in Southwest Virginia (p.333). Cucumber bacterial wilt was very prevalent and there were numerous cucumber beetles (p.333). He reported corn leaf blight (H. turcicum) to be severe for the second consecutive year. Anthracnose and rust damaged some corn in mountain counties (p.379).
Groves gave an account of fruit diseased in Northern Virginia in 1939; rust appeared late, black rot was found to increase as the age of trees increased, and addition of boron controlled internal cork (p.44-48).
In Virginia Fruit vol. 28. 1940, Horticulturist D. A. Tucker described a grape spray program [28 (4):10-14], A. H. Teske, also Horticulturist, described the use of sulphur sprays and dusts protecting the peach crop from brown rot [28 (7):20]. Wingard explained why peach trees were dying [28 (10):10-14]. Since many trees died in the summer of 1940, he described the weather for 1938 to 1940 and indicated conditions in 1938 probably caused the dying. Heavy rainfall occurred in May, June, July; dry conditions followed in August, September, and October, then excess rainfall in early November was followed by a cold spell November 24-30, with temperature falling to 12-29° F during that period. Late rains delayed dormancy and sudden cold was destructive to non-dormant trees. Wingard gave an 8-point preventative program and a 7-point rehabilitation program. Site selection, good drainage, prudent use of fertilizer, and a fall cover crop were emphasized in prevention.
Miller contributed his first popular article entitled "Dusting peanuts to control pests" [ Sou. Planter 101 (5): 20-21. 1940]. The article was based on 1938 and 1939 experiments and comments in Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 316 by Batten and Poos. One should begin dusting July 5- 15 and dust 3 to 4 times at 2-week intervals. Precautions on use of sulphur and equipment were included. Treated peanuts should be dug 5-10 days later than undusted. Dusted plants should be dried longer than undusted plants before shocking.
G. M. Shear had been working on frenching of tobacco for several years. With help from H. D. Ussery, V.P.I. Physics Department, spectrographic methods were utilized for detection of thallium in tobacco plants. It had been suggested that thallium caused frenching but Shear and Ussery could detect no thallium in either healthy or frenched plants (Shear and Ussery. Frenching of tobacco distinguished from thallium toxicity by spectrographic analysis. J. Agri. Res. 60: 129-140. 1940). For this research, Shear and Ussery were awarded the Jefferson Gold Medal of the Virginia Academy of Science in 1939.
The Sixth Annual Conference of the Tobacco Disease Council met in Blacksburg August 7-9, 1940 with S. A. Wingard and R. G. Henderson continuing as Chairman and Secretary, respectively. S. B. Fenne described the demonstrations of downy mildew control and stated that sprays with yellow copper oxide and fumigations with paradichlorobenzene were about equally effective. Henderson described the breeding work for control of black root rot and mosaic. F. O. Holmes had provided breeding stock carrying the Nicotiana glutinosa local lesion gene. Henderson found that a systemic necrosis developed in F1 hybrid plants if they were inoculated with virus, thus generating F2 or backcross progenies was difficult. The Ambalema resistance was associated with undesirable plant types and inoculated plants developed deformities.
At the meeting of the Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society held in Birmingham, Alabama, February 7-9, 1940, Fenne reported, "Some observations on the development of root-knot nematodes diseases in Virginia" (Phytopathology 30:708). Root knot was a problem on 'Nancy Hall' sweet potatoes following supposedly resistant 'Laredo' soybeans. Actually, Laredo was very susceptible and was increasing the nematode population. In Northern Neck tomato fields, root knot apparently was being imported on seedlings from a southeastern state. At the same meetings, The Plant Nematode Council met for the third time; attendees recommended it become a permanent organization. Wingard represented Virginia (Ibid. 30:711).
State quarantine no. 6 was enacted effective April 1, 1940 to prevent the importation and intrastate movement of root knot nematodes. Apparently, nematodes had been brought into Virginia on some southern-grown plants. Hereafter, only plants officially certified as nematode-free may be imported or moved within the counties of Essex, Lancaster, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland. The quarantine was enacted to protect tomatoes and clover (Va. Dept. Agri. & Imm. Bul. 379:10. Mar. 1940).
In a summary of white pine blister rust work for 1940, it was reported that the rust had been found in 15 mostly northern counties (Ibid. 393: 8-9. June 1941).
In 1940, I began my association with plant pathology as a student employee assigned to work for J. G. Harrar and his graduate students. I learned to prepare culture media, pour agar plates, transfer cultures, inoculate plants, propagate plants to be used in plant physiology and pathology student laboratory experiments, and to wash dishes ad infinitum!
Several faculty changes occurred in 1941. J. A. Pinckard resigned February 15, to become Head of the Department of Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University. Wilbert A. Jenkins was hired soon after as Associate Plant Pathologist to resume the work at Chatham. Harrar resigned at the end of the spring quarter to become Head of the Plant Pathology Department at Washington State University. Edward K. Vaughan was hired in September as Associate Professor of Biology to replace him.
Early publications were the abstracts of papers presented at the American Phytopathological Society meeting in Philadelphia, December 27-31, 1940. Harrar and his graduate student J. J. McKelvey, Jr. cooperated with V. K. Charles and J. N. Couch to study, "A fungous parasite of the mealy bug" (Phytopathology 31:5. 1941). No name was assigned to the fungus but infection studies were described. Harrar with McKelvey and another graduate student, J. W. Showalter, reviewed work at V.P.I on "The parasitism of economic insects by fungi" (Ibid. 31:10). Fungi assigned to genera Entomophthora, Beauveria, Conidiobolus, and Hirsutella had been isolated from various insects. Emphasis was placed on determining the effectiveness of the fungi in biologic control of insects. Henderson and Wingard described, "Copper fungicide tests on tomatoes" (Ibid. 31: 10-11). Results with five copper compounds were inconclusive, partly because an early frost killed two of the three varieties before much of their fruit ripened. Miller described his 1939 and 1940 experiments on the, "Control of Cercospora leaf spot of peanut with proprietary sulphur dust" (Ibid. 31:16). Leaf spot caused a 30 percent reduction in yield of nuts and a 40 percent reduction in yield of hay. Wingard summarized 20 years of observations on, "Varietal resistance of wheat to loose smut" (Ibid. 31:24-25). Several commercial varieties and 8 V.P.I. selections were consistently low in infection percentage. This work would be fully described in Technical Bulletin 70.
In the Report of the Thirty-second Annual Meeting at Philadelphia (Ibid. 31:362-372), Pinckard was shown to be a member of the standing committees, Advisory on Society Activities and Programs and Committee on Public Relations. H. T. Cook was a member of the temporary committee on coordination in Cereal and Vegetable Seed Treatment Research. At the December 1940 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, R. H. Hurt spoke on, "Spreading and sticking agents for spray materials" [Va. Fruit 29 (1):90-93. 1941]. Materials which act as both spreading and sticking agents would be ideal but most materials are lacking in one respect or are toxic when applied with certain fungicides or insecticides. Hurt described the properties and listed sources for soybean flour, sulphite by-products, and kerosene oil.
Two bulletins on plant disease were published by Experiment Station personnel in 1941. R. H. Hurt published, "Control of Grape Diseases and Insects" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 332. 1941) in which he described black rot as the most destructive disease in Virginia. In addition powdery mildew, downy mildew and anthracnose were also described. A spray calendar for grapes lists lime-sulphur as a dormant spray and Bordeaux mixture as the products to be used. Wingard and F. D. Fromme elaborated on their work in, "Susceptibility of Wheat Varieties and Selections to Loose Smut" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 70. 1941). The work was started about 1920 and was continued through 1940. The varieties Fulcaster, Fultz and Poole produced many lines which reacted to smut with very low percentages of infection. Wingard produced his most renowned publication in 1941, "The nature of disease resistance in plants. I. (Botanical Rev. 7:59-109. 1941). From the title and a foot-note, it was expected that a second article would be written by Wingard but that article never appeared. It is apparent that the outbreak of World War II and subsequent events changed his priorities forever. Wingard's review contained several subtitles:
- Types of resistance - including physiological and structural differences and disease endurance and avoidance.
- Misconceptions of disease resistance.
- Relation of environment to disease development - including temperature, moisture, soil fertility and pH, light, and weather sequences.
- Genetic behavior of disease resistance - including Mendelian inheritance, physiologic races.
I never found out what Wingard intended to discuss in part II but I do remember him commenting how difficult it was to bring together the information in part I. The review was frequently cited in publications dealing with inheritance of disease reactions and in textbooks. A review in the U. S. Department of Agriculture Yearbook, "Plant Diseases, 1953 by Wingard may have included some of the material originally intended for part II in the Botanical Review. It is apparent that part I ends rather abruptly.
The only other research publication in 1941 was by A. B. Groves who was one of four authors in a publication by H. W. Thurston, Jr. (Pa.), C. F. Taylor (W. Va.), A. B. Groves (Va.), and H. J. Miller (Pa.), "Interstate cooperation experiments on field spraying of sour cherries" (Phytopathology 31: 1047-1050). The advantage of pooling data from three states was that recommendations could be made after fewer years of testing different compounds and dosages. This paper resulted from cooperation among members of the Cumberland- Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference. Such cooperation resulted in significant economic gains for the Experiment Stations and for growers in the region.
There were several contributions in 1941 to The Planter Disease Reporter by Virginia's plant pathologists. Hurt described increases of molds in apple orchards where mealy bugs proliferated. Apples from mealy-bug infested orchards rotted in storage more than those from mealy-bug free orchards (P.D.R 25: 32. 1941). Clarence Cottam, U. S. Dept. of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, reported eelgrass was recovering somewhat from its disappearance in 1931. No pathogen had been associated with the eelgrass disease through 1940 (Ibid. 25: 46-52). The spread of white pine blister rust in the Virginia counties of Clark, Page, Rockingham, Highland, and Augusta was reported in an anonymous article from the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine (Ibid. 25: 52-55). Fenne reported the occurrence of Pythium foot rot in small grains from Bland, Wythe and Montgomery Cos. in early winter 1940-41. Fields sown with fungicide treated seed had no damage (Ibid. 25: 99). Cook reported that strawberry red stele had spread from northern Accomac Co. It was also reported from Princess Anne Co. for the first time (Ibid. 25: 296). Cook also reported an unusual situation for celery late blight (Septoria apii) in the Norfolk area. Growers who used 4-year old seed (because new seed were not available) had no late blight. No late blight occurred on farms where hot water-treated seed were used, even where late blight occurred the year before (Ibid. 25: 311-31). Groves reported peach yellows was spreading in Northern Virginia (Ibid. 25:408-409) and T. J. Nugent identified mimosa tree Fusarium wilt near Norfolk at Fox Hall; this was the first diagnosis of the disease in Virginia (Ibid. 25: 409). Cook and Nugent reported that tomato bacterial canker occurred in two fields and bacterial spot was widespread by July 17 in Northampton Co. Southern blight and Fusarium wilt also occurred in Northampton. Septoria leaf spot was the most important disease in the Norfolk area. Because of the low profit margin in tomato production, spraying was not recommended in the Tidewater area (Ibid. 25: 446-447).
G. Myron Shear, Plant Physiologist and L. I. Miller reported from experiments they conducted that "Pouts" was caused by thrips feeding on young unopened leaves. When injured leaves unfolded, they had pouts. The authors recommended calling it "thrips injury" (Ibid. 25: 470-474). F. W. Poos, U.S.D.A. entomologist who worked at the Holland Station, got wind of the experiments by Shear and Miller and according to Miller tried to scoop them. Poos described the injury in a Southern Planter article [S.P. 102 (12):12. 1941].
S. B. Fenne reviewed the history of tobacco black shank in Virginia and reported new infestations occurred during 1941 in Pittsylvania and Halifax Cos. He gave a 6-point control scheme for infested farms and an 8-point scheme for uninfested farms (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 25: 534-535). Fenne also reported on the occurrence of cereal diseases. No uncommon diseases were found (Ibid. 25:553-554).
C. L. Lefebvre and H. W. Johnson of the U.S.D.A. and who worked with grasses listed a large number of pathogens on grasses which they had identified. Most of the fungi had been collected at Arlington, Virginia, probably at the research center there. Only 5 specimens were identified from collections elsewhere in Virginia (Ibid. 25:556-579).
In the Southern Planter, there were no major articles by plant pathologists. The editors published the apple spray calendar for 1941 [S.P. 102 (2):26-27. 1941]; the peach spray calendar [Ibid. 102 (3):44]; a spray program for grapes; and recommendations to treat seed corn with Semesan, Jr.; to spray or fumigate tobacco for downy mildew control; and to treat cotton seed with 2% Ceresan [Ibid. 102 (4):42-43].
At the 1941 meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, Nugent and Cook described the breeding of Fusarium wilt resistant Virginia Savoy type spinach (Proceedings p.182. 1941) and the breeding of Fusarium wilt resistant watermelons. They had released Klondike, R7, Leesburg, and Hawksburg in 1938; and Blue Ribbon in 1941 (Proceedings p. 182. 1941). They reported progress on improving quality and wilt and anthracnose resistance.
Groves prepared two articles for Virginia Fruit in 1941. In "Cherry spraying" [Va. Fruit 29 (5):17-18], he presented some results obtained in the Cumberland-Shenandoah cooperative experiments and which were also published in Phytopathology. In the article "Watch for peach yellows" [Ibid. 29 (9):15-19], he pointed out that because no major outbreak of yellows had occurred in the past 20 years, Virginia orchardists tended to forget that it was an impending threat. He described its symptoms, and its transmission by the peach and plum leafhopper. He suggested, without experimental evidence, that applications of nicotine sulfate or pyrethrum would control the insect and, consequently, yellows. Hurt wrote about "Black rot of the grape and its control" [Ibid. 29 (10):14-15]. This was an abstract of Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 332.
On a personal note, I started my first course in plant pathology under Harrar, but as a survivor of a flue epidemic in mid-January I had lost so much ground that I resigned from school on January 26. After a month of rehabilitation including being fitted with eye glasses, I visited the Virginia Truck Experiment Station and was hired on March 1, at labor"s wages by Director Zimmerley, to work with M. M. Parker, Horticulturist. Under him, I learned to cross-pollinate muskmelons, tomatoes and brussels sprouts, to lay out randomized replicated field plots, to record and analyze data and to propagate plants for field experiments. In September I was transferred to work with plant pathologists Harold Cook and Tom Nugent. With them, I learned to infest soils with Fusarium spp. to collect spinach downy mildew spores and to inoculate spinach with them, to fumigate soils (and gain a healthy respect for tear gas) with chloropicrin to control nematodes, to steam soils, to run seed treatment tests and analyze the data therefrom, and to hot-water treat celery seeds. The experience was most valuable and it served me well in life. I was fully convinced I would like to become a plant pathologist. In January 1942, I returned to V.P.I.
In 1942, the plant pathologists at the Truck Station departed for military duty and replacements were hired. Nugent was the first to leave; he became a 1st lieutenant in the army on February 1. Cook departed on September 1 to become a navy lieutenant. He would use his expertise as a plant pathologist to enhance the transportation of perishable foods. On the day Nugent departed (February 1), Richard P. Porter, who had worked at the Truck Station during the summer of 1941 and who had just received the M.S. degree in plant pathology at V.P.I., was hired as Acting Assistant Plant Pathologist. Two months after Cook departed, G. K. Parris was hired on November 1 as Acting Plant Pathologist. It was clear that Director Zimmerley expected Cook and Nugent to return to their respective posts (and indeed they did).
In October 1942, Luben Spasoff entered military service where his knowledge of Slavic languages led to an appointment as an instructor in the Army. In late December S. B. Fenne was granted a leave of absence for non-military war service in Brazil. L. I. Miller volunteered for service in the Marine Corps in mid-1942. Only Fenne"s position was temporarily filled, but not until June 1, 1943.
At the December 29, 1941 - January 1, 1942 meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, only Nugent among Virginians contributed an abstract (R. W. Samson, T. J. Nugent, & L. C. Schenberger. The importance of seed transmission of early blight and Fusarium wilt of tomato. Phytopathology 32:16. 1942.) The authors found that the transmission of Alternaria solani and Fusarium lycopersici in seed from processed tomatoes was an extremely remote possibility.
To serve on committees of A.P.S. for 1942, were S. B. Fenne on Extension Work and Relations, and Cook on Coordination in Cereal and Vegetable Seed Treatment Research. (Ibid. 32: 339). Cook had chaired the subcommittee on Vegetable Seed Treatments in 1941.
At the December 9-11, 1941 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, C. R. Willey, Associate State Entomologist, discussed the Peach Yellows Law and the Code of Virginia sections 895-904 [Va. Fruit 30 (1):38-42. 1942]. According to Willey, before agents of the State Entomologist could enforce peach eradication to prevent spread of peach yellow, the Supervisors of the target county must adopt the law and be willing to support the project financially. Only two counties had adopted the law, Roanoke and Loudoun, but when agents had submitted bills for eradication work, both counties had rescinded their action and eradication was discontinued as an official project. Thus, the Peach Yellows Law although "on the books" had lain dormant for about 52 years. It could be adopted on a county basis if the procedures stipulated by the code of Virginia were followed. Otherwise the State Entomologist was powerless to condemn and destroy yellows infected trees on private property.
As the same meeting, Hurt discussed "Crystalline versus monohydrated zinc sulphate as preventive against arsenical injury on peaches "[Ibid. 30 (1): 48 - 51]. Hurt concluded that the two materials were equally efficacious.
Before their departures for military service, Cook and Nugent diligently prepared summaries of their recent projects. In "Potato Scab in Relation to Calcium, Soil Reaction, and the Use of Acid-forming and Non-acid-forming Fertilizers" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul. 108. 1942), they reported that one may use either type of fertilizer provided the soil reaction was pH 5.0-5.2. Cook and G.V.C Houghland, Associate Soil Technologist, Division of Fruit and Vegetable Crops, U.S.D.A., in a paper entitled, "The severity of potato scab reaction in relation to the use of neutralized one third neutralized fertizers" (Amer. Potato Jour. 19:201- 208, 1942), reported essentially the same information but provided a more technical study and analysis of the problem. However, it was concluded potatoes should be grown at pH 4.8 or lower.
Cook and L. L. Harter (U.S.D.A.) published "Chemicals Effective for Sweet Potato "Seed" Treatment" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul. 109). Mercuric chloride (=HgCl2) was better than boric acid, borax or lime-sulphur but these three materials could be substituted for HgCl2 for control of black leg caused by Ceratostomella fimbriata. "Seed" should be dipped for 10 minutes in appropriate solutions of the above products and be bedded immediately.
At the annual meeting of the Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society held in Memphis February 4-6, R.G. Henderson presented two papers; these were documented by very long abstracts. In, "Breeding tobacco for black-root-rot resistance" (Phytopathology 32:647), Henderson reported the program had been initiated in 1934. Turkish (Xanthia) x flue-cured or dark fire types yielded resistant lines approaching commercial type after selection in the F2 and F3 generations but backcrossing after selection to commercial types was required to reduce expression of Turkish traits. One hybrid selection of flue-cured types, No. 38, produced nearly $100/acre more return than the control susceptible variety Yellow Mammoth.
In, "Studies on soil sterilization with urea and calcium cyanamid" (Ibid 32:647-648), Henderson studied some of the physical changes that occurred in soil following treatment. Interest in these compounds is sustained by their potential for controlling weeds in tobacco seed beds.
A. B. Massey, now teaching taxonomy and field botany to students in the Forestry and Wildlife curriculum, co-authored a note on a smut of Indian grass (Massey and G.L. Zundel. Sphacelotheca, host of an unidentified smut. Phytopathology 32:544-546. 1942). The smut, identified as Sphacelotheca sorghastri actually had been identified previously as S. Andropogonis - hirtifolii, was found on Sorghastrum elliottii, long awned Indian grass in Pittsylvania Co. near Chatham. This collection extended the range of S. elliottii into the Piedmont; it was known previously from only a few counties of the Coastal Plain.
Pinckard, who had left the Chatham station, published a paper based on some work done while he was at Chatham entitled, "The mechanism of spore dispersal in Peronospora tabacina and certain other downy mildew fungi" Phytopathology 32:505-511). He found that after spores are matured in a saturated atmosphere, drying causes the sporophores to twist, bend, and to become entangled thereby dislodging spores. There was no evidence of forcible ejection of the spores.
Pinckard and L. Spasoff Bozovaisky described, "A method for the culture of seedlings and small plants in sunlight under controlled temperature conditions" (Phytopathology 32:467- 476). They described "home-made" growth chambers in which they studied the effects of temperature on the growth of tobacco colonized by Thielaviopsis basicola. Temperature was maintained within 2-3° F of the desired temperature when the greenhouse temperature was between 25 and 105° F. In a second paper, they described and illustrated, "Cold injury of flue-cured tobacco seedlings" (Ibid. 32:512-517). "White bud" was the chief symptom observed.
Bulletins published in 1942 addressed fruit, peanut, and tobacco. Groves published, "The Elemental Sulfur Fungicides" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 82) in which he explained the preparation, composition and properties of sulfurs for sprays and dusts. Size of particle, the smaller the better, was the most significant property. He prepared a unique grid- photo study for analyzing size. Miller published a summary of the 1941 and 1942 results on, "Peanut Leafspot and Leafhopper Control" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 338). The yield of nuts was increased from 238 to 834 lbs./ac. on 30 farms and the yield of hay increased from 593 to 3419 lbs./ac., compared to undusted plots when three applications of dust were made. A detailed account would be published in 1946. Henderson, and E. M. Mathews, Agronomist at Chatham, published, "Yellow Special Tobacco, a New Flue-cured Variety Resistant to Black Root Rot" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 346). This variety was the first to be released from Virginia"s project to breed disease resistant tobacco. It was widely used from 1942 to 1946; it was considered tolerant of but not resistant to the black root rot fungus. Fenne published, "Important Tobacco Diseases in Virginia and Their Control" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 152) in which he discussed downy mildew, mosaic, ring spot, brown spot, frenching, black root rot, Granville wilt, black shank, root knot, and sore shin. He emphasized seed bed problems and that production of disease free seedlings is essential to a healthy tobacco crop. A section on collecting and mailing diseased plants concluded the bulletin.
In the Plant Disease Reporter, Cook and L.L. Harter (U.S.D.A.) described tests in which wettable Spergon was compared with bichloride of mercury for disinfesting sweet potatoes (P.D.R. 26:222). Spergon at 6oz./gal. was ineffective while HgCl2 was nearly perfect in preventing black rot.
The papers by Cook, Nugent, Miller, and Spasoff would be their last until after World War II.
At the May meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS), Henderson and Wingard reported their results with tomato fungicides (Proc. VAS p.216, 1942). On 'Earliana", 'Pitchard" and 'Marglobe", tribasic copper sulfate, Bordeaux mixture, yellow copper oxide sprays and tribasic and red copper oxide dusts were tested. Earliana received 6 applications; others received 5. Highly significant yield increases were obtained with all treatments on Earliana; only Bordeaux failed to produce significant increases on Pritchard; and on Marglobe, only tribasic produced a significant increase over untreated plots. Septoria and Alternaria leaf spots were the only diseases observed. Groves contributed observations on, "Ground sprays as supplementary scab control measures" [Va. Fruit (4):13-14, 1942]. He concluded that ground sprays are "in the category of special or supplementary measures to be used in special situations, not as a justifiable addition to the regular schedule" because they were expensive and would not allow elimination of any of the regular sprays. Fenne in the same journal, wrote about, "Garden sanitation and care of spraying (and dusting equipment) and save dusts and spray materials" [Va. Fruit (12) :14]. The title was garbled but the message was to conserve supplies and equipment during wartime storages. He also emphasized destruction of diseased plants and composting healthy plant residues.
W. A. Jenkins who had replaced Pinckard at Chatham contributed an article to the Southern Planter entitled, "Tobacco black shank disease strikes" [S.P. 103 (1):6]. He described the symptoms and reported that in 1937 and 1938, downy mildew severely damaged tobacco seedlings, and farmers were forced to import plants and with the plants came the black shank fungus. He distinguished black shank from sore skin wherein affected plants topple. There are no satisfactory control measures so he warned growers that if their farms were not infested, don"t import plants, grow your own, and control downy mildew. In the future, black-shank-resistant varieties may become an alternative. This was Jenkin"s first publication on Virginia plant pathology.
Fenne followed with an article on, "Preparation of the tobacco plant bed" [S.P 103 (2):15]. He described narrow (6') plant beds with walkways between and advised growers to control blue mold and weeds so that 100 sq. yds. would produce 10 to 15 thousand plants.
In the 1942 apple spray calendar, no new materials or procedures were included. [S.P. 103 (3):14]. To date, only organic mercury (Ceresan, Semesan) and organic sulfur (Spergon) among the forthcoming myriad of organic fungicides were available and these were seed treatment chemicals.
In the Plant Disease Reporter (P.D.R.), there were several reports by Fenne: A summary of the 1941 tobacco disease situation (P.D.R. 26:52-53), and in 1942 (P.D.R. 26:432-434). An occurrence, first in U.S.A., of Cercospora atropae on a war emergency experimental planting of belladonna, Atropa belladonna, (P.D.R. 26:280). Anthracnose in beans grown from seed produced in the arid west was causing farmers to lose faith in western grown seed (P.D.R. 26:337). Soybean frog-eye leaf spot appeared in Stafford Co., the first time it had occurred in Virginia (P.D.R. 26:382-383). Potato and tomato late blight spread rapidly in western Virginia during August (P.D.R. 26:283). Corn leaf blight was very severe on Pioneer 300, Dekalb 816, Funk G94, U.S.13, and Kentucky Dent; resistant varieties were Funk 135, Illinois 448, U.S.99, U.S. 109, Tennessee 15, and Kentucky 201 (P.D.R. 26:257). The susceptible/resistant categories must have been obtained from experimental plots because in 1942, only 7.6 per cent of Virginia"s corn acreage was planted with hybrid varieties [Sou. Planter 104 (10):4. 1943]. On small grains, stem rust was widespread but late; even so a 10 per cent loss occurred. The amount of leaf rust was the highest in 10 years (Fenne, P.D.R. 26:478-479). H. B. Humphrey (U.S.D.A.) reported that in Southwest Virginia, stem rust occurred in nearly every field, varying from trace to heavy by June 20 (P.D.R. 26:288).
White pine blister rust was found on currants in Bland, Giles, Grayson, Pulaski, Smyth, Wythe Cos. and on pine in Bath and Shenandoah Cos. for the first time (R.G. Pierce, P.D.R. 26:54).
Jenkins published a wordy account of "Diseases of bright tobacco in Pittsylvania County, Virginia during the 1942 season" (P.D.R. 26:434-437).
A War Emergency Committee of the American Phytopathological Society was created following an A.P.S. summer meeting in Toledo. Its stated purpose, "Is to provide for coordinated effort in research, experimentation and extension work designed to control destructive diseases of plants" (Phytopathology 32: 831-832; 917-918). Emphasis would be on converting accumulated knowledge of diseases into measures for controlling them. Because of a shortage of plant pathologists, individuals were encouraged to discontinue work on diseases of plants not vital to the war effort. Of high priority was the creation of a nation-wide plant disease survey service in order to detect quickly newly introduced, potentially damaging diseases of crops vital to the war effort. The Victory Garden program had been established and home production and canning of foods would be expected to allow diversion of commercially produced fresh fruits and vegetables to the military. In this respect extension plant pathologists had to devote much time to teaching disease control to home gardeners. Fenne was appointed to the subcommittee on Extension. Within this group, he was named chairman of a committee to select Kodachrome slides for duplication and distribution to states that cooperated by contributing slides for selection. Fenne was also a member of the War Service Committee of Southern Plant Pathologists, appointed to make recommendations for control of cereal diseases. His service on these committees was brief; in late December he departed for Brazil.
I returned to V.P.I. in January, 1942 and took up where I had left off in January of 1941. Under E. K. Vaughan I took Phytology and Plant Pathology. I was also assigned to work for him as a student aide in the National Youth Administration Program. To me, Vaughan was friendlier than Harrar had been. We began generating a friendship that would last to the end of his life.
The grim realities of war were brought home by the rationing of sugar, meat, gasoline and tires. The sale of new automobiles ceased and the military draft intensified. I was drafted in December 1942 but because my right arm had been partially paralyzed at birth, I was classified 4F and allowed to continue my education.
On June 1, 1943, E. K. Vaughan moved laterally into the position as Extension Plant Pathologist. I had just graduated and expected to have him as my advisor in a plant pathology M.S. program. Naturally, I was concerned for my own welfare but he agreed to see me through to graduation, provided I did my part.
Before I initiated my M.S. program, I spent two weeks on the Barberry Eradication Project with R. S. Mullin, State Leader, as my supervisor. I put out some brush control chemicals in Wythe Co. near Speedwell on square-rod plots. Chemicals including ammate, sodium chlorate, and 2-,4D were employed. The corners were marked with stakes made from trees 2 to 3" in diameter. Water for mixing solutions came from nearby Cripple Creek. A map was prepared so that the plots could be identified later. On one occasion, I interrupted a baptismal ceremony being conducted in the creek by a local church. Whatever the denomination, they almost drowned the new members before they felt they were appropriately baptized. During the remainder of the 10 working days, I drove around Wythe and counties adjacent, hunting for grain fields and stem rust. I was instructed to make 3 or 4 collections of grain stems per county and send them to the Rust Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. Later (in 1947) when I met W. Q. Loegering who did the rust identification work at the Laboratory, I asked him about the collections I had made. To my astonishment, he had thrown them all away. Mullin had not told me to dry them before I mailed them; they had arrived in St. Paul as a moldy mess. Despite my wasted effort, Bill Loegering and I became life-long friends.
Late in the summer of 1943, I asked Mullin what he learned about the chemical treatments. He replied that he had some difficulty in locating and identifying the treatments. Someone had pulled up the corner stakes and used them for firewood. However, the chemicals had killed all the barberry bushes in treated plots and a few big pine trees to boot. He seemed satisfied with the results.
During that same stint with barberry work, Mullin and Vaughan set up a meeting with me at a certain crossroad. They were bringing E.C. Stakman who was Head of Plant Pathology and in charge of the Rust Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. At that time, I didn"t know it but in September 1944, I would start my Ph.D program under Stakman, but on that day in 1943 at some remote crossroad in Wythe Co., I was to meet the world"s leading authority on cereal diseases, the man who had trained both Harrar and Vaughan. I arrived at the appointed time and designated place and waited, and waited and waited. Finally I resumed my mission of examining grain fields and estimating the severity of rust. Later I learned that Stakman and company had arrived at the designated place soon after I had left. I would have to wait until fall of 1944 to meet the famous Stakman. C"est la vie!
From my two-week experience, I learned much about the distribution of native or Allegheny barberry, the destructive potential of black stem rust, the rugged beauty of southwestern Virginia, and how to climb over fences without damaging them or tearing my pants.
In the years 1942 and 1943, grains in southwestern Virginia were heavily rusted. Stakman, R.U. Cotter and W.Q. Loegering of the Rust Laboratory, gave a paper in 1943 on, "Regional spread of wheat stem rust from barberry-infested areas of the Virginians in 1942" (Phytopathology 33:12. 1943). They deduced that because race 38 predominated the rust population in the Virginians and because prevailing winds had blown northward during urediospore production, and because race 38 had been rare north of the Virginians but in 1942 was destructive to wheat in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, that the inoculum had originated in the Virginias. This probably precipitated Stakman"s visit to Virginia during the rust epidemic of 1943. He had to see for himself. Believe me, he was not disappointed.
The faculty issued four bulletins in 1943. Wingard described, "New Rust-resistant Pole Beans of Superior Quality" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 350). He reviewed the project which was started in 1916; namely, the selection of rust-resistant pole bean varieties to be crossed with susceptible, high quality varieties; genetics of resistance; and selection of high quality beans from F3 and F4 progenies. Wingard and Fromme had been the first to study the inheritance of rust reaction in bean. Ten selections were named "Virginia Victory No. (1 through 10)". They were very popular with home gardeners but a failure in the commercial seed business. Pole beans were a nuisance to seed producers. Wingard maintained them well into the 1960's but I never heard anyone call them Victory; everyone called them "Wingard"s Wonder Beans".
E. M. Matthews, Superintendent of the Chatham Station, and R. G. Henderson described, "Yellow Special Tobacco, a New Flue-cured Variety Resistant to Black Root Rot" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 346). The variety originated as a selection of a cross between "Harrison Special" and probably "Lizard Tail" and was grown and tested for 10 years before it was released in 1942 for production in 1943. Quality and growth on black-root-rot-infested soil was excellent. The variety possessed some resistance to black shank, sore shin and damping-off. It was the first disease-resistant tobacco variety released by the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station.
A. B. Groves (Winchester), H. J. Miller (Penn.) and C. F. Taylor ( W.Va.) described their cooperative "Tri-State Cherry-Spray Investigations" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 354; also Pa. A.E.S. Bul. 447 and W.Va. A.E.S. Bul. 310). Leaf spot was the most destructive disease. After testing several copper and sulfur fungicides and comparing them with Fermate ( ferbam) Spergon, Thylate (thiram), and what became Dithane (nabam), they concluded that early applications of lime-sulphur and later applications of Bordeaux mixture gave best leaf spot control and caused the least damage to fruit.
Henderson summarized the "Testing of Copper Fungicides for Control of Tomato Blight in Southwest Virginia" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 89). Five copper products were evaluated for control of early blight, late blight, Septoria and Stemphyluim leaf spots. In dry years, there was little difference between fungicides but Bordeaux mixture reduced the number of marketable fruits. In wet years, Bordeaux mixture was superior and all materials increased the yield of marketable fruits.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration (V.D.A.I.) reported a revision of quarantine no. 3, effective May 1, 1943 (V.D.A.I.Bul. 414:8. 1943). The revision allowed planting and movement of currants and gooseberries where previously it had not been permitted in the counties of Clark, Faquier, Loudoun, and Scott. The report did not give the rationale for the change. In Bulletin 419:11-12, it was reported that commercial damage to white pine had been found in Augusta, Bath, Highland, Madison, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, and Shenandoah Cos. In Bulletin 420:11, it was reported that rust was found on Ribes in Bedford and Washington Cos. In Bulletin 419:12, a report reviewed briefly the barberry eradication project. The State had initiated it in 1934. In 1942 and 1943, the heaviest rust ever was in the block of counties Augusta, Rockbridge, and Rockingham and the southwestern counties of Bland, Carroll, Smyth, Tazwell, and Wythe (See also Pl. Dis. Rept.. 26:54).
Due to war-time travel restrictions, the Tobacco Disease Council could not meet but written reports were submitted to Chairman Wingard and he assembled the reports for distribution. Wilbert Jenkins reported that high winds reduced the effectiveness of PDB in controlling downy mildew. Fumigation under these conditions allowed established infections to linger and, thus, treated beds were no more useful than untreated beds. Jenkins also reported on laboratory studies on black root rot and Granville wilt and on breeding for resistance to black shank in the crosses Yellow Special X Bullock"s No. 45 and Y.S. X Bullock"s No. 72. Henderson reported on breeding for black root rot resistance and the problems of testing large numbers of hybrids; intensity of black root rot infestation varied within blocks such that the use of the lattice design was introduced to gain precision over the randomized block design.
The Emergency Plant Disease Prevention Project was established by the Plant Disease Survey on July 1, 1943 from emergency funds made available by President Roosevelt. "The purpose of this project was to help protect the country"s food, feed, fiber, and oil supplies by insuring immediate detection of enemy attempts at crop destruction through the use of plant diseases, and by providing production specialists and extension workers with prompt and accurate information regarding outbreaks of plant diseases, whether introduced inadvertently or by design while still in incipient stages" (P.R. Miller and J. I. Wood. An Evaluation of Certain Phases of the Emergency Plant Disease Prevention Project. Plant Dis. Reptr. Supp. 167. 1947). R. E. Atkinson was assigned at first to survey in Virginia in 1943 but C. F. Taylor soon succeeded him. Atkinson had been a Minnesota buddy of Vaughan, and although there is no mention of Atkinson"s visits to V.P.I. and his emergency survey work in Vaughan"s annual reports (1943, 1944), they made several trips together. Most of Vaughan"s cooperative surveys were with Taylor as noted by Taylor in his survey reports (C.F. Taylor. 1943. Reports on plant disease survey, Virginia and West Virginia. Plant Dis. Repts. 27:410- 412, 471-473, 501, 521, 609-610, 622, 625, 627-828, 632-633. 1943). There were no reports of new or unexpected losses from old diseases.
In a Plant Disease Reporter article, R. P. Porter reported studies on, "Seed-borne inoculum of Phomopsis vexans - its extent and effects" (P.D.R. 27:167-169). He found 22% of 27 samples of eggplant seed had P. vexans spores and that seedling infections could be induced by soil-borne inoculum. Thus, there was a need to obtain P. vexans-free seed and plant in P. vexans-free soil. Jenkins reported on, "Downy mildew of bright tobacco in Virginia during the 1943 plant bed season" (P.D.R. 27:227-228). The disease was first detected in Pittsylvania Co. on April 25; average first date for the bright belt was May 5. Downy mildew was blamed for 15 to 60% losses in production. P.D.B. gave the best control; Fermate gave encouraging results. G. K. Parris reported, "Reduction in the yield of celery caused by root-knot nematode" (P.D.R. 27:234), on a farm where poor growth brought an inquiry. Nematodes caused a 48% reduction of trimmed celery. Parris and R. A. Jehle reported on, "Root knot on lima beans in Maryland" (P.D.R. 27:235), and R. P. Porter on "Arasan (Thiosan) as a spinach seed treatment" (P.D.R. 27:262-263). He found Arasan was superior to ZnO and cheaper, $9.00 to 12.00 for treating 2000 lbs. of seed with ZnO and $5.00 to 6.45 with Arasan. Arasan did not require addition of graphite. E. K. Vaughan reported that black shank and Granville wilt were spreading; black shank caused damage in Franklin and Charlotte Cos. and Granville wilt was found in nine old-belt counties (P.D.R. 27:272-273).
The acreage of hybrid corn in Virginia nearly doubled from 7.6% in 1942 to 13% in 1943. [S.P. 104 (10):4. 1943]. The editor in the "Work for the month" column plugged the dusting of peanuts. A schedule for different types was provided [S.P. 104 (6):8.1943]. Nothing else related to plant pathology was published in The Southern Planter in 1943.
Hurt had two articles in the 1943 Virginia Fruit. The first, "Cryolite as a lead arsenate substitute," was entomology, not plant pathology [Va. Fruit 31 (1):47-50]. In the second, "Methods of bitter rot control", Hurt reported that bitter rot had caused little damage to apples in the preceding years but in 1942, conditions were favorable for the establishment of the bitter rot fungus in orchards and some losses occurred. This article was a reminder for orchardists to be vigilant and to carry out the proper control measures. He described symptoms, disease cycle and control measures. They had not changed for many years. One should remove mummies and dead twigs from trees, and apply 2 to 4 sprays of Bordeaux mixture, depending on the susceptibility of the varieties. "Red Delicious" and "Winesap" were considered non- susceptible and required but 2 or 3 sprays of 2-4-100; "Pippin", "Jonathan", required 3 or 4 sprays of 3-6-100. The third cover spray was the most critical for bitter rot control [Va. Fruit 31 (4):10-14].
Despite it being war time, there was a considerable volume of publication by Virginia plant pathologists in 1943. The most significant events were the introduction of Fermate for use in orchards and tobacco seed beds, and the transfer of Vaughan from instruction to extension.
Vaughan was very much interested in history and geography. In his 1943 report of extension project work (actually June 1 to Nov. 30), he made comprehensive summaries of diseases in Victory Gardens (only early and late blights occurred in epiphytotic proportions), small grains (scab and stem rust were epiphytotic), tobacco (downy mildew, black shank and Granville wilt were the most damaging), peanuts (only leaf spot was of major importance) and corn (seedling blight, stalk and ear rots, and smut but not leaf blight, caused most damage). His most elaborate report was on black stem rust of wheat and barberry eradication. Here he demonstrated his flair for history. Although his report was based on information provided by R. S. Mullin, Associate Pathologist, U.S.D.A., in charge of barberry eradication for Virginia, it is the most comprehensive report I have found. Original reports by Mullin and earlier by Matheny have not been located. The impact of barberry eradication was demonstrated during the 1942 and 1943 stem rust epiphytotics. Brine or salt was still being used to kill bushes. The curtailment of activities by the Works Project Administration in 1942 greatly reduced the intensity of eradication work; thus resurvey of areas in which bushes had been previously eradicated was emphasized. Survey and eradication on new properties was curtailed.
In 1944, A. B. Massey taught Plant Pathology in the winter and spring quarters and I was his teaching assistant. R. P. Porter resigned from the Truck Station on January 30, to go into pesticide distribution and sales work. E. K. Vaughan resigned September 9, to return to tomato disease research, U.S.D.A. at Tifton, Georgia. Henderson received the Ph.D. degree from Iowa State College and I was awarded the M.S. degree in September. After my graduation, graduate studies in Plant Pathology at V.P.I. were shelved for the next decade. Not until 1953 would the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology be authorized to grant M.S. degrees in its two disciplines. R. S. Mullin, until fall of 1944, was State Leader of the Barberry Eradication Project. In September he resigned his position and took up graduate study at the University of Minnesota under E. C. Stakman. I joined him as a fellow student.
The abstracts of the 1943 Society meetings had been published in 1943, not in January 1944 as was the pattern previously. Virginia pathologists did not participate. The talk given by Groves at the December 1943 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society was published in January 1944. Hurt was not on the program. Groves spoke on, "Controlling cedar rust with fungicides" [Va. Fruit 32 (1):33-36]. He described the pros and cons of the cedar eradication program and a need for an effective fungicide for use where cedar eradication was either not practicable or the law had not been adopted locally. He described the success he had in 1943 with the new fungicide "Fermate" and recommended it for inclusion in spray programs on rust-prone varieties.
Immediately following Groves, W. H. Tisdale of the DuPont Co., Wilmington, Delaware, spoke on "Fermate ---A promising fungicide" [Ibid. 32 (1):36-40]. He gave a brief history of the development of organic fungicides and cited "Semesan" and "Ceresan" for cereal seed treatment, "Arasan" and "Thiosan" for seed and soil treatment, and "Fermate" for fruit and foliage diseases. In addition to its fungicidal properties, Fermate needed no safener and, indeed, acted as a safener for lead arsenate. He listed pears, cherries, peaches, tobacco, tomatoes and several ornamentals as crops that would benefit from use of Fermate. He warned that Fermate is corrosive; therefore, sprayers should be thoroughly cleaned after its use.
With the introduction of Fermate, a whole new era began; freedom from dependence on sulfur and copper sprays was in sight. However, much testing would be necessary before each new product could be put to use. In Virginia, orchardists and tobacco farmers would be the first major benefactors.
Later in the year, Groves contributed a note, "Organic fungicides in 1944" [Va. Fruit 32 (9):13-14] elaborating on his results with "Fermate" in 1944. Results were encouraging in that Fermate proved compatible with summer oil and nicotine sprays but on peaches, it left a dark, objectionable residue. Groves found it had a narrow spectrum of disease control.
In another note, Hurt declared that a new phase of fungus and insect control is in the making [Inorganic spray materials versus organic materials as fungicides and insecticides. Va. Fruit 32 (10):8-9]. He found as Groves had that Fermate was effective for apple scab and cedar rust.
The only research bulletin published by plant pathologists in 1944 was prepared by Groves (A.B. Groves. Sulfur Sprays. Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 359. 1944). Here he described the types and forms of sulfur fungicides, the preparation, use, and disadvantages of lime- sulfur. The latter was highly recommended for use on apples to control early infections of apple scab and as a dormant spray for eliminating peach leaf curl. It would sometimes injure apple fruit, and would interfere with the efficacy of lead arsenate. Several other aspects of sulfur were discussed. Elemental sulfur products were described as universally useful on peaches.
Vaughan published an extension bulletin, "Control Victory Garden Pests and Diseases (Va. Agri. Ext. Div. Bul. 158) in which he provided the gardeners with general principles of disease and insect control, described various pesticides, and listed various insects and diseases the gardener might encounter. Emphasis seemed to be on insects.
In Phytopathology, Vaughan published two papers based on work he had done before coming to V.P.I. In the first "The use of ethyl mercury phosphate for treating tomato seed in New Jersey" (Phytopathology 34:175-184), New Improved Ceresan dissolved in tap water (1 g in 1200 ml) proved satisfactory for eliminating Alternaria solani, the primary seed-borne organism causing seedling diseases in tomato. In the second, "Bacterial wilt of tomato caused by Phytomonas solanacearum" (Ibid. 34:443-458), Vaughan presented his Ph.D. dissertation. He emphasized edaphic factors in relation to wilt development.
Shear and Wingard published, "Some ways by which nutrition may effect severity of disease in plants" (Ibid. 34:603-605). This was a discussion of the effect of nutrients in conductive tissue on the development of bacterial wilt of corn.
G. K. Parris, the Acting Plant Pathologist at the Truck Station, published a note on "A simple nuclear stain and staining technique for Helminthosporia" (Ibid. 34:700-702). It was an agar-slide culture technique; acid fuchsin was used to stain the cultures. The cover slips could be sealed in place with paraffin.
In May, at the Virginia Academy of Science meetings, Henderson described a, "Technique for measuring resistance to black root rot in tobacco" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1944:73). In replicated field plots, using a lattice design, 30 entries were measured 3 times during the growing season. The most critical measurements were those taken first. The lattice design gave greater accuracy than did the randomized block.
Vaughan spoke on, "Black shank, a little known but serious threat to tobacco production in Virginia" (Ibid. 1944:48). He reviewed the history of black shank in Virginia, its spread and potential for great destruction in the bright tobacco belt. He stated that a program for breeding resistant varieties was under way at Chatham. A further elaboration which was published in The Southern Planter is reviewed below. Roane and Vaughan published the abstract of a paper read by Roane, "Studies in the physiology and genetics of Colletotrichum phomoides, the tomato anthracnose organism" (Ibid. 1944:42). This was a summary of my M.S. thesis in which I found the fungus grew optimally at temperature of 24- 33° C., that it would grow at a pH ranging from 3.0 to 10.0, that growth was greater on carbohydrate than on nitrogen media, and was greater on ripe tomato agar than on green tomato agar. This was my first presentation before an audience of peers and I was very nervous and did poorly. In later years, my presentations were much improved but the nervousness remained.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration published occasionally on plant disease situations in Virginia. In Bulletin 429, white pine blister rust was noted to have spread to counties south and west of Roanoke. Ceresan was acknowledged to be the most popular grain seed treatment material, however, some treated lots showed depressed viability. Seedsmen were warned not to store treated seed for long periods or to reduce the dosage to 1/4oz/bu for seed to be stored (V.D.A. & I.Bul. 429:10-11. 1944).
The barberry eradication work for 1944 was reviewed. W.M. Watson had been named Federal-State Leader following Mullin"s resignation. He reported that for 1944, resurvey work had been conducted in Augusta, Grayson, and Wythe Cos. (Ibid. 435:10. 1945).
Two reports focussed attention for the first time on a nematode disease caused by Pratylenchus spp., the meadow nematode. C. F. Taylor in, "Distribution of the meadow nematode in Virginia. I. On boxwood" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 28:339-340), found Pratylenchus to be generally distributed on Virginia boxwoods and suggested that winter injury may be nematode damage. Jenkins called attention to meadow nematode damage in "Root rot disease complexes of tobacco with reference to the meadow nematode: A preliminary report" (P.D.R. 28:395- 397). In addition to accounts on the distribution of nematodes, he pointed out that black root rot would not occur in some soils unless meadow nematodes were also present, even though Thielaviopsis basicola was also present.
Vaughan summarized the results of "Peanut seed treatment in Virginia - 1944" (P.D.R. 28:672-675). Spergon increased stands by 67%, 2% Ceresan increased them by 94%, and Arasan by 100% over untreated. Although hand-shell seed stands were increased only 38%, machine-shelled stands were increased 99%. Arasan became the standard peanut seed treatment chemical. It would emancipate growers from the laborious task of hand shelling and would eliminate the need to treat seed with kerosene to prevent rodent and bird damage.
C. F. Taylor of the Emergency Plant Disease Survey Project found Coniothyrium fuckelii invading arsenic-damaged peaches where zinc sulphate safeners had not been used (P.D.R. 28:718-719), and found anthracnose of tobacco in Virginia (P.D.R. 28:828, reported by G. A. Walker), and Diaporthe sojae causing stem rot of peanut at the Holland Station (P.D.R. 28:1096). The last two diseases were new to Virginia. There were about 20 survey reports on Virginia plant diseases but most cited commonly occurred diseases without evidence of severe damage. R. E. Atkinson apparently replaced Taylor after July 1.
Vaughan and Jenkins summarized the incidence of tobacco diseases (P.D.R. 28:848- 849); Vaughan summarized the small grains disease situation and reported rye ergot was severe in Washington, Tazwell, and Russell Cos. (P.D.R. 28:891-892); and Vaughan and Shear reported the discovery of boron deficiency by Taylor in 1943 and experiments that led to application of 10 lbs/ac. of borax to soils to be planted with cole crops (P.D.R. 28:1069- 1072).
Parris reported that seed treatment of peas decreased fertilizer injury (P.D.R. 28:1152) and that tests with chemicals to control sweetpotato soft rot caused by Rhizopus nigricans revealed nothing better than the already recommended borax (P.D.R. 28:1168-1170).
Vaughan contributed an article to The Southern Planter entitled, "Black shank, new disease of tobacco" [Sou. Planter 105 (6):12-13. 1944], in which he reviewed the history of black shank in Virginia. This was the subject of his Virginia Academy of Science paper mentioned earlier. He described the symptoms of black shank and compared them with those of Granville wilt and sore skin. All varieties of all types of tobacco grown in Virginia were susceptible to black shank; relief in the form of resistant varieties was not expected for a number of years. All recommendations were aimed at preventing contamination of uninfested lands.
Vaughan collaborated with G. M. Shear in preparing an article, "Boron deficiency of rutabagas" [G.M. Shear and E.K. Vaughan. Sou. Planter 105 (11):24-25.1944; also in P.D.R. 28:1069-1072], in which they described the symptoms of boron deficiency and the discovery of the problem in Smyth Co. by C. F. Taylor who was working on the Federal Emergency Plant Disease Prevention Project. Shear and Vaughan found that the addition of 20 lbs. of borax per acre nearly eliminated the problem. Although rutabagas are a minor crop, cabbage is a major crop in southwestern Virginia and in a survey of cabbage and rutabaga crops, boron deficiency was identified in Wythe and Smyth Co. cabbage fields. Since water core, the primary symptom, is destructive only in dry years. Shear and Vaughan recommended that 10 lbs/ac. of borax be applied to cabbage and rutabaga fields.
H. H. Zimmerley, Horticulturist and Director of the Virginia Truck Experiment Station, died at the age of 54 of a heart attack on October 15, 1944 [S.P. 105 (11):24-25. 1944]. He had contributed actively to the breeding of disease-resistant spinach and through leadership to the development of disease-resistant watermelons and tomatoes and to projects on control of nematodes and truck crop diseases in general. He was very well liked by the station staff and growers.
The 1944 meeting of the A.P.S. was held in Cincinnati December 9-11; Groves read two papers, Henderson one. In, "Soil treatments and apple replant survival in Xylaria mali-infested locations" (Phytopathology 34:1001), Groves reported that carbon bisulfide was the most promising treatment found to-date; urea and chloropicrin also showed promise. In, "Compatibility of organic fungicides and summer oils" (Ibid 34:1001), Groves reported that Chloronil, Puratized N5X, and two proprietary compounds were phytotoxic with summer oil but compound 341 and Fermate were compatible.
Henderson described, "Growth of tobacco seedlings stimulated by the addition of peanut-hull meal to plant-bed soil" (Ibid 34:1002-1003). He had observed that calcium cyanamid or urea added to tobacco seed bed soils for control of weeds was toxic to tobacco for several weeks. Organic matter added to the soil was known to bring the soil quickly back to productivity. Two lbs./sq.yd. of peanut hull meal was found to be a suitable adjunct.
The first annual meeting of the Potomac Division of the A.P.S. was held in Beltsville, Md., Feb. 23-24, 1944. No one from Virginia contributed a paper. In summary, 1944 was the year that the organic fungicides Fermate and Arasan were demonstrated to be beneficial to Virginia crops; borax would prevent water core in crucifers in southwestern counties; Vaughan and Mullin resigned; meadow nematodes were reported as the causes of brown root rot and winter injury of plants; and June 6 was D-Day, signifying the landings of Allied troops in Normandy.
In 1945, there was only one staff change at V.P.I.; S. B. Fenne returned from Brazil in January and resumed his duties as Extension Project Leader in Plant Pathology and Entomology.
R. S. Mullin, having completed the residence requirements for the Ph.D. degree, returned to Virginia expecting to become Associate Professor of Biology at V.P.I. but the student enrollment was so small that I. D. Wilson, Department Head, could not appoint him. Instead Mullin received an appointment on July 1, as Plant Pathologist at the Truck Station. G. K. Parris had resigned from there in January. H. T. Cook and T. J. Nugent were still in service, so, fortunately for Mullin a position was available. L. I. Miller returned from military duty in either late 1945 or early 1946 to resume his appointment as Assistant Plant Pathologist at the Holland Station. J. O. Rowell was hired as Extension Entomologist on October 15. Thereafter, Fenne could devote full time to plant pathology.
At the December 5-7, 1944 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, Groves spoke on "Promising new fungicides on apples and cherries" [Va. Fruit 33 (1):139-142. 1945]. Groves was speaking on the third anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. He first highlighted the inadequacies of current spray programs, i.e., that summer oils against the codling moth were incompatible with sulfur sprays and, consequently, if oil was used protection from scab would be lacking for at least half of the scab-fungus-infecting period. The control of leaf spot and brown rot of cherries has been only partially successful. The available products adversely affect fruit size and quality. Of several organic fungicides tested, only Fermate has been found useful on apples but not cherries. Spergon, Chloronil, and Dithane have not been effective on either fruit. New organic products will be tested in the future and no doubt efficacious products will be found.
For the first time in years, Hurt did not appear on the program nor did he contribute to the 1945 volume. Both in 1944 and 1945, the editor urged growers to destroy regrowth cedars.
Two bulletins were issued in 1945 addressing plant diseases. Wingard and E. T. Batten, Superintendent at the Holland station, published, "Treat Seed Peanuts for Profit" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 382. 1945). In three years of testing at the Holland station, Arasan, Ceresan, Yellow Cuprocide, Spergon, U.S.R. 604 (= Phygon), Dow 9 B, and Fermate were applied and data obtained by planting 100 seeds per plot to hand-shelled and machine shelled seed. The field plan was a factorial design of six replications. For hand-shelled seed fungicides did not improve stands, but for machine-shelled seeds fungicides gave much greater stands than untreated. Results from Vaughan"s 1944 farm demonstrations were also included. Arasan emerged as the material of choice although Ceresan was almost as good. Planting of machine-shelled treated seed was calculated to save more than $200,000 a year for Virginia growers. An additional saving of 10-20% was obtained by machine shelling because laborers ate that amount while shelling. Crude methods of treating the seed were described. These experiments led to a major change in the peanut industry.
Henderson, E. M. Matthews, and W. A. Jenkins published, "Tobacco Plant Bed Management" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 384. 1945). They described soil preparation, soil treatment with urea or cyanamid in October for weed control, the construction of plant beds including size and shape, and fertilizing. They emphasized procedures that would avoid introducing tobacco diseases into uninfested soils, and the control of blue mold with Fermate. This bulletin became the model for a number of Extension Service circulars that followed.
Henderson published his Ph.D. dissertation, "Further testing of copper fungicides for control of tomato blight in Southwest Virginia" (Phytopathology 35:120-128), in which he compared tribasic copper sulphate and yellow cuprous oxide dusts for control of early, late, and Septoria blights on three varieties of tomatoes. Commercially prepared cuprous oxide gave 10% higher yields than the tribasic copper. No evaluation was given for foliage protection in the field.
Jenkins described, "A Cercospora leaf spot on cultivated Physostegia" (Phytopathology 35:324-331). The original name, Cercospora physostegiae, was soon relegated to synonymy when the ascospore stage was found in June 1944 and named Mycosphaerella physostegiae. This was the fourth Mycosphaerella described by Jenkins.
Parris reported on "The nematocidal and fungicidal value of D-D mixture and other soil fumigants" (Phytopathology 35:771-780). As others had found, D-D proved to be an excellent nematicide which could be applied in cold soils and would be cheaper and as effective as chloropicrin. It had little effect on soil fungi. Parris asked, "Does the Sequoia variety of potato possess resistance to leaf roll virus and to frost?" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 29:126-127). He found that Sebago reacted more violently to the virus than Sequoia and perhaps because of a mild reaction to virus was more frost resistant.
From his plant disease survey work, R.E. Atkinson found much splitting and Penicillium rot in apples from Virginia (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 29:263-265).
C. Cottam reported that the Mycetozoan Labyrinthula was believed to cause the loss of eelgrass along the Atlantic Coast and in the Chesapeake Bay area (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 29:302- 310). Through 1944, there was considerable recovery. Brant and other geese had been most adversely affected.
Fenne reporter that tomato late blight was the worst it had been in 20 years. In south- western Virginia, all tomatoes were destroyed by the end of August unless they had been given fungicidal protection. Five percent copper dusts gave adequate protection (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 29:729-730).
In 1945, bulletins from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration, several plant diseases were cited. Blue mold control on tobacco with PDB or Fermate was emphasized (Bul. 436:8-9,May). In a white pine blister rust control report, rust of pine had been found in Grayson Co. for the first time (Bul. 438:8-9, July). Dutch elm disease appeared in Loudoun Co. along the Potomac river opposite infested areas of Maryland; this was the first occurrence of the disease in Virginia since 1936 (Bul. 439:9-10, Aug.). There were reports on barberry eradication, new outbreaks of white pine blister rust in southwest Virginia, and progress on cedar eradication (Bul. 442, Nov.). H. E. Yost was mentioned for the first time as Area Leader of the blister rust campaign.
According to S. B. Fenne"s annual report, there were severe outbreaks of tomato late blight and tobacco blue mold in 1945. As a precaution, there were 82 tobacco seed bed demonstrations, 70 with Fermate, 10 with PDB, and 2 with yellow cuprocide, for blue mold control. These were very successful in that blue mold was prevented. Farmers who did not spray had to buy plants. For the first time, the Granville wilt resistant variety, 'Oxford 26', was grown in demonstrations on infested soils. The variety proved to be highly resistant and of satisfactory quality. Jenkins also reported this (see below). Peanut seed treatment with Arasan was stressed; the era of commercial machine shelling and Arasan treating had begun. Dusting peanut fields with sulfur had become a standard practice but due to the war, there was a shortage of dusting machinery. Farmers formed dusting rings (co-ops) to overcome this problem.
In the 1945 Southern Planter, Three important tobacco diseases were discussed.. W.A. Jenkins described "A new control for blue mold" [Sou. Planter 106 (1):32-33]. He illustrated healthy plants grown in PDB- and Fermate-treated beds and destroyed plants in untreated beds. The spring of 1945 was considered to be the worst blue mold season ever. The new control Jenkins proclaimed was Fermate and growers who used it in demonstration beds in cooperation with the Experiment Station successfully produced disease-free seedlings. Farmers who did not use Fermate or PDB suffered big losses. Fenne described "Granville wilt of tobacco" [S.P. 106 (10):10]. He gave the diagnostic symptoms, encouraged the use of rotations involving non-susceptible crops by naming those which were susceptible, and highlighted the use of Oxford 26, a resistant flue-cured variety, on infested farms. Fenne also discussed the "Control of tobacco blackshank" [S.P. 106 (12):18-19]. He described long rotations for growers with infested farms and the precautions to be taken by growers with uninfested farms. The major admonishment was to use homegrown plants. Despite taking all precautions, blackshank found its way to uninfested farms. Fighting diseases whose pathogens were spread through soil was described as very difficult and frustrating. Fenne reviewed the work of Jenkins who was involved in breeding blackshank-resistant varieties. However, such varieties were as yet several years in the future.
Two anonymous articles featured S. A. Wingard and his Virginia Victory Beans. In January, the vigor, fecundity, and disease-resistance of Virginia Victory were proclaimed, but alas, seed companies had shied away from it while favoring bush beans [S.P. 106 (1):10]. The choice for the home gardener was a paradox, the back-breaking job of picking bush beans or the problem of picking beans from a ladder. In an October article, "Wingard"s Wonder bean makes record yields" [S.P. 106 (10):12], the editor, P.D. Sanders, wrote, "We saw poles 10 to 12 feet tall breaking down under the burden of beans that measured up to a foot long. They were as brittle as icicles and as tender as a mother"s love." In response to the January article, Wingard received and honored 8,533 requests for seeds.
May 8 was V E day, victory over the Axis in Europe. Because the Japanese were in retreat toward the home islands, the danger from introduced plant pathogens was apparently gone; therefore, on June 30, the Emergency Plant Disease Survey ended. V J day was August 14.
In 1946, H. T. Cook returned to the Truck Station on January 1, after a tour of duty as a naval Lieutenant and T. J Nugent rejoined him as Associate Plant Pathologist after serving as a 1st. Lieutenant in the army. R. S. Mullin, after a year at the Truck Station, was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at V.P.I. and in the fall began teaching botany and plant physiology. A. B. Groves was promoted to Professor on July 1. Luben Spasoff returned from military service and was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist at Chatham.
For the first time in several years, some plant pathology courses were deleted from the College Catalogue. Cereal and Fruit Diseases, Diseases of Special Crops, and Bacterial Diseases were no longer listed but the catalogue was still padded with untaught courses.
M. B. Waite, fruit pathologist in the Bureau of Plant Industry, U.S.D.A., died June 5, 1945. His obituary appeared in March 1946 (Phytopathology 36:175-179). Waite had worked closely with Virginia"s fruit growers and had been a featured speaker at annual meetings of the Virginia State Horticultural Society between 1901 and 1910, and in 1932. He is credited with convincing growers in the Shenandoah Valley that cedars must be eradicated if defoliation of apple trees by rust were to be prevented. He made many contributions to fruit pathology that greatly benefitted the Virginia fruit industry.
At the December 1945 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, there were three presentations pertaining to plant pathology. C. R. Willey, State Entomologist, asked, "Shall we let the cedars grow?" [Va. Fruit 34 (1):17-20. 1946]. He reviewed the history of cedar eradication, litigation, and more recently, a failing interest in eradication. Willey ended with the warning that, "you better get busy---and that right soon---with the axe; or, shall we let the cedars grow?" Groves spoke on, "Choose a sulfur fungicide for the particular job" [Va. Fruit 34 (1):36-40]. He listed six categories of sulfur products; but even though lime- sulfur was the superior fungicide, the elemental sulfurs were less phytotoxic. Hurt spoke on the, "Incompatibility of fungicides with DDT" [Va. Fruit 34 (1):119-122]. He reported that DDT was compatible with sulfurs, Bordeaux mixture and lead arsenate; it was safe with Fermate through the second cover spray. It was incompatible with lime-sulfur and other soluble sulfurs.
Professor William B. Alwood died at his home "Mountain Hollow Orchards" near Greenwood, Virginia on April 13, 1946 [H.L. Price Va. Fruit 34 (5): 14-20]. He was the first Vice-Director of the Experiment Station and Professor of Horticulture, Entomology, and Mycology. In 1888-1890 he conducted the first experiments, wrote the first articles and published the first bulletins on plant pathology at V.P.I.
The annual meetings of the American Phytopathological Society, usually held in December, were delayed until March 1946. Cook described how his training as a plant pathologist aided in the procurement, production, and handling of food supplies for the Armed Forces. Many established procedures were discarded or modified and improved methods were initiated (Phytopathology 36:397). Henderson described his experiments with 16 tobacco hybrids and varieties in an effort to find new germ plasm with resistance to black root rot. 'Yellow Special' was the only resistant commercial variety. Six highly resistant hybrids were found. The experiments demonstrated that greenhouse procedures with seedlings were adequate for selection of resistant plants (Phytopathology 36:400-401).
Five Experiment Station bulletins were published by the plant pathologists in 1946. In, "Vahart Wheat, a New Variety for Virginia", T.M. Starling, Assistant Agronomist, S.A. Wingard, and M.H. McVickar, Associate Agronomist state that Vahart was selected by T.B. Hutcheson from 'Redhart' in 1930 (Va. Agri. Expt. Stat. Bul. 386). Wingard and Fromme had found it to be highly resistant to loose smut (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 70), and later it was found to be moderately resistant to powdery mildew. It was the first awnless variety released by the Station.
In March, Groves published, "Weather Injuries to Fruits and Fruit Trees" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 390). The bulletin was a photo-essay of winter and drouth damage to trees, frost injury to foliage and fruits, hail damage, wind injury, and problems caused by extreme fluctuations in temperature and moisture mostly on apples but with one plate devoted to stone fruits.
Henderson prepared a summary of his work on, "Tomato Blight Control in Southwest Virginia" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 394), in which he described early and late blight and Septoria leaf spot and the effectiveness of various copper fungicides in controlling them. The best products were insoluble compounds, cuprous oxide and tribasic copper sulfate, applied either as dusts or sprays. For best results, treatment were to be started 10 days after transplanting and to be continued at 7-to 10-day intervals. Henderson described this work at the spring meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science (Proc. V.A.S. 46:72).
Groves published, "Comparative Effect of Lime-Sulfur and Flotation Sulfur on Tree Growth and Fruit Yield" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 103) which was a summary of 5 years of tests on 'Starking Delicious'. He found that flotation sulfur gave a significant increase in fruit yield but had no measurable effect on tree growth or fruit size and finish.
L.I. Miller produced his first major publication since returning from military service, "Peanut Leafspot Control" (Va. Agri. Sta. Tech. Bul. 104). This was a thorough review of the world"s literature on leafspot and a report on a comprehensive investigation of factors affecting the development and control of leafspot. The various aspects of peanut hay and nut production were analyzed.
H.W. Thurston (Pa. State), J.B. Harry (Crop. Prot. Inst.), T.H. Lewis (Pa. State), Groves and C. F. Taylor (W.Va.) collaborated to publish their results with three derivatives of glyoxalidine (Glyoxalidine derivatives as foliage fungicides. II. Field studies. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst. 14:161-171). One of three compounds tested was found to be effective against apple scab and cherry leafspot and was eventually sold as Glyodin. This publication represented a good example of interstate cooperation.
The 8th Annual Conference of the Tobacco Disease Council met at Tifton, Ga.; S.A. Wingard presided. Virginians attending reviewed their work; emphasis in early 1946 was on fungicidal control of blue mold. Jenkins described results with various diluents he used with Fermate, his research on meadow nematodes, and progress in breeding black shank resistant varieties. Henderson described results from chemically-treated seed beds, tests with mosaic resistant flue-cured lines, and procedures and results from indexing tobacco seedlings for black root rot reaction. Wingard and Henderson were elected to continue as Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the council. They would serve through 1947. Twelve varieties in the Vesta series were released for use on black shank infested soils. Although their resistance was adequate, yield and quality did not satisfy growers.
In the 1946 Southern Planter, Fenne contributed two articles on tobacco blue mold control. In the February issue he contributed, "A new control for tobacco blue mold" [Sou. Planter 107 (2):26-27] which seemed to be the same article Jenkins had in the September 1945 issue. The use of Fermate sprays and dusts was emphasized. In November, he reminded growers to plan on using "Fermate to control blue mold" [S.P. 107 (11):28-29]. He stated that growers should spray twice a week or 8 to 12 times. There was an error in the print; it read "eight to 122 applications will probably be required"! Blue mold had been very destructive recently and Fenne wanted growers to be ready for the next onslaught. The editors also reminded growers to spray tobacco in their "Work for the month" column in April.
Fenne also contributed an article, "Treat peanut seed to improve yields" [S.P. 106 (3):10]. This information was based on the bulletin by Wingard and Batten "Treat Peanut Seed for Profit" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 382. 1945).
Wingard contributed an article, "Chemical dust checks Irish potato sprouts" [S.P. 107 (10):44]. This was not plant pathology but rather growth regulation. It was an account of treating shredded paper with methyl ester of naphthalene acetic acid (supplied by American Cyanamid and Chemical Corp.) and mixing the paper among tubers from his garden. The potatoes were stored in his basement. I think this product was later sold as Barsprout.
The editors described the, "Apple spraying program for 1946" [S.P. 107 (3):24]. Elgetol and Fermate were the organic products recommended to replace sulfur and copper inorganic sprays.
Fenne reviewed the major events in Extension Plant Pathology in his annual report. Tomato late blight was very destructive in western Virginia. Tobacco blue mold did little damage; farmers controlled it with Fermate. They purchased over 250,000 lbs. In demonstrations showing the differences between western and locally grown bean seeds, "you could tell to the row" by the absence of anthracnose which were western. Tobacco black shank continued to spread; in 1946 it was known on 90 farms in 8 counties. Dusters became available to peanut growers; as a consequence sulfur dusting to control leafspot greatly increased. Alfalfa bacterial wilt was found in new areas and the variety 'Williamsburg', newly released from the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, was found to be tolerant of stem rot. Some of these reports were elaborated in the Plant Disease Reporter (See below)
Fenne, C.L. Lefebvre, ( Plant Pathologist, U.S.D.A.), Henderson and T. J. Smith (V.P.I. Agronomist) conducted a survey of "Alfalfa and clover diseases in Virginia" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 30:242-243), mostly in the Piedmont. They found only common diseases on alfalfa and clover. A field of clover was heavily damaged by root knot where it was planted after several years of tobacco.
Apparently, late blight came early to tomato and potato crops in 1946. Both Cook and Fenne in separate reports indicated there would be large losses a result of low temperature and frequent rain (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 30:266-268). This same weather caused snap bean halo blight to spread rapidly in eastern Virginia (Cook, Ibid. p. 271). Fenne gave a detailed account of tobacco blue mold situation (Ibid. pp. 275-276). Farmers endured heavy losses unless they sprayed or dusted their tobacco plant beds. He later summarized the results of 85 farm demonstrations where Fermate was used for blue mold control. All growers achieved excellent control and vowed to use the product in 1947 (Ibid. pp. 382-383). Fenne, acting as Chairman of a Row Crop Legume Committee, summarized the results from four states on peanut seed treatment (Ibid. pp. 468-470). The most obvious result was the enhancement of stands obtained with machine-shelled seed. Nearly all products gave excellent stands and provided convincing evidence that treated machine-shelled nuts would result in nearly perfect stands.
In 1947, Curtis W. Roane was hired as Assistant Plant Pathologist on July 1 to work with plant breeders to produce disease-resistant varieties of barley, oats, wheat and corn. He filled the first new position to be established in the pathology group at Blacksburg since 1929. However, since then new positions had been established, one at Chatham and one at Holland. Also, in 1947, R.H. Hurt was promoted to Associate Plant Pathologist.
At the December 16-18, 1946 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, all who worked in fruit pathology were on the program. Hurt, being the first, spoke on "Fungicides old and new" [Va. Fruit 35 (1):42-47. 1947]. He pointed out that liquid lime- sulphur and Bordeaux mixture are two old fungicides which will be in use for a long time. In addition, they will be the standards by which the performance of new products will be measured. Only if new products prove to be equally effective, less phytotoxic, and are reasonable priced will they become established. Hurt reviewed sulphur fungicides including carbamates with sulphur compounds, copper, and organic mercuries. In comparative tests, organic mercuries were top performers.
Groves spoke on, "Chemical treatment of the soil for control of black root rot of apples" [Va. Fruit 35 (1):54-56]. Once a tree dies of black root rot, subsequent replants also die. Groves reported on survival of trees following site treatment with Bordeaux mixture (33 of 34 survived), carbon disulfide (135 of 135) and Uramon (not evaluated yet).
Wingard followed with a discussion of, "Quince rust, a serious disease of apples "[Ibid. 35 (1):57-61]. Actually, he compared cedar-apple, cedar-quince, and cedar-hawthorn rusts. On apple, apple rust attacks fruit and foliage, quince rust attacks only fruit, and hawthorn rust attacks only foliage; other differences were described. A spray program utilizing Fermate was presented. Quince and apple rusts were illustrated.
C. R. Willey followed with a brief reminder that, "Cedar rust really hit some sections of Virginia this year "[Ibid. 35 (1):62]. Willey said rust had cost Augusta Co., "four or five thousand dollars. It cost the Augusta orchardists more (in 1946) than to cut all the cedars in twenty-five years." Willey admonished orchardists that, "the only cure is plain old muscle grease---cut down the cedars".
The American Phytopathological Society met at Cincinnati at the end of December 1946. In abstracts published in January 1947, Cook described, "A method of forecasting late- blight epiphytotics in Eastern Virginia" (Phytopathology 37:5). He reported that late blight had occurred only when rainfall was above average and temperature was below 75° F from May 15 to June 15. Thus, when conditions such as this occurred, growers would be urged to spray to prevent losses. At this meeting Cook was appointed to the Public Relations Committee and the National Security Committee. Fenne was appointed to the Extension Committee. No other plant pathologists from Virginia participated in the meetings.
Cook, T. J. Nugent, G. K. Parris, and R. P. Porter, all of whom had worked or were working at the Truck Station published, "Fusarium Wilt of Spinach and the Development of a Wilt Resistant Variety" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul. 110). Wilt was found in 1930 in Tidewater Virginia. In 1936, Cook and Nugent selected resistant plants from a commercial field of "Virginia Savoy"; further selection and roguing was continued through 1942 when yield trials were conducted. Performance on uninfested soil was about equal to the original Virginia Savoy. On infested soil about 70 per cent of the plants survived compared to 33 per cent for susceptible Virginia Savoy. The new variety provided resistance to wilt and the virus disease blight. Even though the variety provided a measure of resistance, Cook, et. al. advised growers to practice rotation to gain a further modicum of performance.
Late blight was thoroughly monitored in the eastern states in 1947. In Virginia, it flared up in several isolated spots of Tidewater and Eastern Shore. In most areas, unfavorable, blight-checking weather followed out-breaks and damage was minimal. The fall potato crop was expected to be protected by fungicides beginning in mid-September.
The Plant Disease Reporter published a supplement on "Tomato late blight in the warning service area in 1947" (P.D.R. Supp. 171, Dec. 1947) in which two reports from Virginia were included. Cook contributed a, "Summary of late blight in Eastern Virginia in 1947" (p. 210-212). His opening statement was, "Late blight was not important in Eastern Virginia in 1947." Thereupon, he wrote two and one half pages on why it was not important. A small pocket of blight was found in Accomac Co. Fenne and Wingard reported a 15 to 20 percent loss of tomatoes due to "late blight in tomatoes in Western Virginia." (p. 209-210). They thought the weather was ideal for blight during July but widespread damage did not occur.
The annual alfalfa and clover disease survey was held during the week of April 14. Pathologists participating were S.B. Fenne, C.L. Lefebvre (U.S.D.A.), and V.P.I. Agronomist T. J. Smith. Bacterial wilt was found in Botetourt Co. for the first time. Root knot was also damaging in Botetourt (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 31: 301-303).
Fenne reported an unusual amount of loose smut in barley and wheat and powdery mildew on wheat. He also reported severe damage to clover and alfalfa caused by a lack of snow cover on certain fields (Ibid. pp.281-282).
Nugent found azalea petal blight in Virginia for the first time on May 8. Petal blight was collected in several gardens of the Norfolk area (Ibid. p.244).
Cook"s article, "Forecasting tomato late blight", originally published in the Food Packer was reprinted (Ibid. pp.245-249). Since epiphytotics occurred in only 2 of 17 years (1930-1946), spraying or dusting to control blight each year was considered wasteful. Thus, years in which conditions favored blight had to be recognized and growers were to be warned to protect their crop. Rainfall and temperature were the only factors considered.
At the 1947 meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, Henderson reviewed, "Studies on damping-off of alfalfa" (Proc. Va. Acad. Soc. 1947:70). Among several varieties tested, "Williamsburg" selections were superior. In, "Further experiments with chemicals applied to the soil to control weeds in tobacco plant beds", he reported that best control was obtained with urea and calcium cyanamide; 2,4-D was ineffective at nontoxic levels (Ibid. p.80). Mullin spoke on the, "Economic importance of stem rust of small grains in Virginia" (Ibid. p.79). From 1935 to 1944, Virginia lost $4 million, 3.75 million in wheat, to rust. The 1943 epiphytotic was the most damaging when $1.081 million in wheat was lost. Two papers were presented on breeding disease-resistant crop varieties. Henderson in "Breeding tobacco for disease resistance," reported success in breeding for resistance to black root rot, mosaic (virus), and black shank (Ibid. p.55). He stated that use of resistance was the only way to control soil-borne organisms and viruses. Cook reviewed the history of, "Breeding plants for disease resistance of the Virginia Truck Experiment Station" (Ibid. p.57). Varieties already released were 'Virginia Savoy' spinach (blight resistant), 1921; "Old Dominion" spinach (also blight resistant), 1929; wilt resistant 'Virginia Savoy' spinach, 1947; and "Hawkesbury" watermelon (fusarium wilt resistant), 1936. Attempts are also being made to breed spinach resistant to downy mildew, kale resistant to fusarium wilt, sweet potato resistant to stem rot, and cucumbers and cantaloupe resistant to downy and powdery mildew.
In his annual report for 1947, Fenne reported the first occurrence of sweet potato internal cork in Virginia. The disease originated from virus-infected seed roots purchased from southern states. He also said that black shank had spread into three more counties.
Wingard served as Chairman and Henderson as Secretary of the Tobacco Disease Council for the last time in 1947. Both had held their office since 1936, the first year of Council meetings. Considerable emphasis was given to meadow nematode-induced brown root rot. Jenkins gave a detailed account of his findings and conclusions: (1) Tobacco is not a natural host of meadow nematodes. (2) Injury by meadow nematode is comparable to the hypersensitive reaction in small grain rust resistance. (3) Nematodes are conditioning agents for the entry of secondary invaders (which do more damage than the meadow nematodes). (4) Parasitism is not equivalent to pathology. Although the nematodes are parasitic, it is difficult to demonstrate they cause disease. (5) Considerable variation occurs among species and strains of meadow nematodes in response to temperature, nitrate and calcium variation. Jenkins also reviewed the breeding of black shank-resistant varieties. About 95 to 98 percent of the plants in the VESTA lines are resistant; the level of resistance has neither increased nor declined since 1944. Seed are saved only from plants which survive to the end of the growing season.
An interesting article about S. A. Wingard appeared in the Extension Service News, November 1947. The headline read, "Modern version of Jack"s beanstalk developed by research man at V.P.I." This was a popular article on Wingard"s pole bean project. The writer pointed out that harvesters used stepladders, no helicopters being available.
In the 1947 Southern Planter the first full-page advertisement for Fermate appeared; DuPont was promoting its use for blue mold control. Both dusting and spraying were featured. In March, Jenkins contributed a brief note, "New type covers for tobacco plant beds" [S.P. 108 (3):3] in which he touted plastic glazing. Its assets were excellent light quality transmission, heat retention, protection from chewing insects, and possibly, exclusion of blue mold. The material was in for further evaluation.
Fenne contributed two articles. In April, he pointed out that, "Tomato late blight could come early" [S.P. 108 (4):23,27]. In 1946, late blight was brought into Virginia on southern- grown tomato transplants. Conditions soon became ideal for its spread resulting in early destruction of unprotected plants. Fenne said that a late blight forecasting service was functioning for Atlantic coastal states and that growers should heed any warning by applying copper or organic fungicides promptly. H. T. Cook of the Truck Station in, "Late blight control" [S.P. 108 (5):27], warned growers of early potatoes in Eastern Virginia that while late blight on the early crop occurs only rarely, they should be prepared to apply copper fungicides should conditions favor late blight. No organic fungicides were mentioned.
Fenne contributed another article on, "Control of diseases injuring vine crops," in which he was referring to cucurbits [S.P. 108(5):30-31]. Fenne listed downy and powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, anthracnose, scab, mosaic and leaf spots as the usual diseases. He described the disease cycles, and emphasized the need for rotation and sanitation. Only copper fungicides were recommended. A downy mildew warning service (like that for late blight) that was especially helpful to commercial growers had been implemented.
Wilbert A. Schaal became the Agricultural Editor for the Experiment Station in 1945. In 1947, he contributed three articles about research involving the plant pathologists. In "New wheat variety for Virginia", he described Vahart wheat. This variety was one selected originally by Wingard as being resistant to loose smut [S.P. 108(8):38-39]. It has been described in Bulletin 386. Vahart was a beardless wheat with good resistance to mildew. In the same article, Schaal listed other recommended wheats, barleys, and oats. Wong barley was newly introduced from New York and had resistance to powdery mildew. Strangely, several recommended winter oats were susceptible to Victoria blight (Helminthosporium victoriae) but did not succumb to the disease. However, several recommended spring oats were susceptible and did succumb. (We were able to grow Victoria blight-susceptible winter oat varieties for several years after susceptible spring oat varieties disappeared.)
Schaal interviewed Henderson about, "Weed control in tobacco beds" [S.P. 108(10):46-47]. Henderson and E.M. Matthews had found that urea (sold as Uramon) and calcium cyanamid (Aero Cyanamid) or a 50:50 combination of both would control weeds in seed beds if applied by October 20 preceding tobacco seeding. This simple procedure saved 50 to 60 hours of weeding for each 100 sq. yds.
Schaal interviewed me (C.W. Roane) and wrote on, "Corn disease research underway" [S.P. 108(11):42-43]. It was my first chance to tell what Clarence Genter, corn breeder, and I had decided was important for improving hybrid corn in Virginia. Stalk rot and leaf blight were our initial target; both contributed to stalk breakage and corn stalks had to remain erect if the grain was to be machine harvested. I was pictured inoculating a stalk with stalk rotting organisms and holding split stalks about five weeks later. We proposed to inoculate all the plants in our breeding nursery with stalk rotting and leaf blighting fungi and we spilt a 10- plant sample of every plot of plants in our Blacksburg yield trials every year (and we did so for about 15 years). In addition we proposed to select only smut-free and rust-free plants in the breeding nursery. After only one year, we greatly modified the list of recommended hybrids for Virginia. In retrospect, I found that agricultural journalists enjoyed writing about new projects and great expectations. These made for large doses of glorified speculation, but it was only rarely they wrote about actual accomplishments. Accomplishments came in such small increments that laymen could not see their impact. In short, they were more interested in people who were going to do than people who had done! Nevertheless, I welcomed the opportunity to give my work a little publicity.
Some things are never documented in print. When I joined the faculty in 1947, I had completed the residence requirements for the Ph.D. degree at Minnesota but had made no progress in research toward a dissertation. I needed a topic that was related to cereal crops. About July 10, Clarence Genter brought me corn leaves with bright tan circular spots. I did not know the causal agent so after a few days I identified the cause as Helminthosporium carbonum. It completely destroyed the female line in a crossing block of K44 X K41. I found it on some lines in an inbred line nursery. I decided to make it the subject of my dissertation. To certain corn scientists, Helminthosporium leaf spot was proclaimed to be an obscure disease and thus it remained until the 70's when it became a hot topic.
A bulletin entitled, "The 1947 Official VirginiaVarietal Tests of Corn Hybrids, Barley, Oats and Wheat" by C.F. Genter, Edward Shulkcum, C.W Roane, and M.H. McVickar was published in late December. (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 412); this was the first bulletin to recognize the cooperation between the Agronomy Department and the Plant Pathologists in evaluating cereal crops.
In 1948, R.G. Henderson and G.M. Shear were promoted to Professor of Plant Pathology and Professor of Plant Physiology, respectively and C.W. Roane was promoted to Associate Professor of Plant Pathology.
H. T. Cook resigned his position as Plant Pathologist at the Virginia Truck Experiment Station in 1948 to become Senior Plant Pathologist in the Section of Fruits and Vegetables of the U.S.D.A. Then R.S. Mullin resigned his position of Associate Professor of Biology (Botany) on July 1 to return to the Virginia Truck Experiment Station as Plant Pathologist to replace Cook. This brought A.B. Massey back to teach plant pathology after a two year release from this chore.
The General Assembly appropriated funds to construct a new Piedmont Fruit Research Laboratory at Charlottesville, adjacent to the Virginia Forest Service Nursery. The University of Virginia wished to resurrect the current laboratory site for other purposes. The Assembly also provided funds to purchase land for a Tobacco Disease Research Station. This land was soon put to use as a tobacco seed production farm, especially for the VESTA lines.
At the December 15-17, 1948 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, A.B.Groves chaired a panel of growers who discussed their experiences in making the transition from inorganic to organic pesticides [Va. Fruit 37(1):50-60. 1949]. The only organic fungicides discussed were iron carbamates and organic mercurials. The latter were very effective against scab in that they eradicated the scab fungus but because there was a zero residue tolerance for mercury, they could not be used after the first cover spray. The iron carbamates were only moderately effective against scab but highly effective against cedar rust. There were no other talks on diseases at this meeting.
The 1947 annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held in Chicago December 28-30; three Virginians read five papers. The abstracts appeared in January 1948. Cook presented his method for forecasting late blight in eastern Virginia and results obtained in 1947. The forecast indicated spraying in 1947 was unnecessary; it proved to be correct. This saved potato and tomato growers about $2 million (Phytopathology 38:6). Groves discussed, "Apple rust controlled by airborne application of Fermate" (Ibid. p 11). A single application reduced infection from 18 lesions per leaf to one per leaf. In "Compatibility of organic fungicides with acaricides and DDT", Groves found that several useful fungicides seemed compatible with commercial acaricides and DDT (Ibid. p.11). Jenkins discussed, "Root-rot complexes of tobacco and small grains in Virginia" (Ibid. p.14-15). Damage to rootlets by nematodes caused stunting and malnutrition of small grains, even winter killing. In tobacco brown root rot resulted from nematode feeding. Jenkins also discussed, "Strains of flue-cured tobacco resistant to black shank (Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae) and tolerant to certain root-rot complexes" (Ibid. p.15). He crossed "Yellow Special" with North Carolina lines having 'Florida 301' resistance to black shank. The black shank-resistant parental lines survived about 80 percent. Hybrid lines survived 95-98 percent and combined black shank resistant with black and brown root rot resistance. L.I. Miller conducted experiments in greenhouses (at Minnesota) on, "Root nodulation of Holland Jumbo strain peanut grown from seed treated with a fungicide" (Ibid. p.18); the fungicide was Spergon and it had no measurable affect on nodulation.
In the annual report of the Chicago meeting, (Ibid. 316-325), Fenne was listed as a 1948 member of the Extension Committee, Cook as a member of the Public Relations Committee and of the subcommittee on Utilization of Plant Pathologists and Field Facilities in National Emergencies. This was a subcommittee of the Plant Disease Prevention Committee. Cook also was listed on the Subcommittee on Seed Treatments (of the Fungicides Committee).
Only one bulletin was published by the staff in 1948. Groves collaborated with F. H. Lewis (of Pa. Agri. Expt. Sta.) to publish, "Cherry Leaf Spot Control in the Cumberland - Shenandoah Valley" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 415; Pa. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 498). They described and illustrated the disease, caused by Coccomyces hiemalis, and its effect on trees and fruit. Sanitation (removal of fallen leaves) was shown to reduce disease severity but reliance on fungicides was essential for profitable production. Lime-sulfur and copper compounds were recommended. A product known as Compound 341 (later call glyodin) gave excellent leaf spot control but was not yet commercially available.
The Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society met jointly with the Potomac Division February 11-12, 1948 at Beltsville Maryland. Cook described "Control of sweet potato scurf by vine cuttings", (Phytopathology 38:568). Cook concluded that "Scurf infected sprouts were the most important source of scurf and that scurf-free potatoes may be obtained by planting vine cuttings.", Henderson and T. J. Smith discussed, "A crown rot of alfalfa caused by Colletotrichum trifolii" (Ibid. p. 570). Apparently, C. trifolii plays a major role in destroying stands of alfalfa during the summer. Henderson and Smith also discussed the, "Relative susceptibility of alfalfa varieties to certain foliage diseases" (Ibid. p.570). Among nine varieties, Williamsburg, Kansas Common, Buffalo, and A-27 were consistently most healthy both in midsummer and in early fall. Roane and C. F. Genter described their experiences with the appearance of "Helminthosporium carborum in Virginia" (Ibid. p. 572). The striking differences between resistant and susceptible lines was portrayed.
Since 1942, Jenkins had been writing and talking about root-rot complexes and the initial role of meadow nematodes in these complexes. In 1948, he published two papers on this subject. Jenkins summarized his observations in the papers, "A root disease complex of small grains in Virginia" (Phytopathology 38:519-527) and, "Root rot disease-complexes of tobacco in Virginia. I. Brown root rot" (Ibid. pp. 528-541). In both cereals and tobacco, it was no doubt that nematodes, especially meadow nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) caused a predisposing root damage that was soon colonized by opportunistic soil organisms. Although Jenkins alerted pathologists to nematodes as an overlooked cause of root problems, his descriptions of symptoms and damage did nothing to clarify the nightmare entailed in diagnosing ectoparastic nematode damage. In his illustrations and descriptions of field symptoms on barley, barley yellow dwarf virus could very well have caused the yellowing and stunting with or without the nematodes. These two papers caused much controversy and confusion and helped precipitate more attention to the role of ectoparasitic nematodes in plant health.
There were several reports in the 1948 Plant Disease Reporter pertaining to disease situations in Virginia. Fenne summarized, "Tobacco diseases in Virginia - 1947" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 32:16-18). Blue mold was a threat through the entire growing season but because Fermate was so widely used, little damage occurred. Black shank was found for the first time in Amelia, Brunswick and Dinwiddie Cos., bringing the number of infested counties to 11. In 1947, 18 black shank-resistant VESTA strains were released to growers for evaluation. They were found acceptable to growers having black shank but not to others. Most of the other common diseases were observed. In several cases, lighting injury was mistaken for black shank or Granville wilt. Fenne, Lefebvre (U.S.D.A.), Henderson, Tysdal (U.S.D.A.), and Smith (V.P.I. Agronomy) summarized the results of their November 1947 alfalfa and clover disease survey in eastern Virginia, (Ibid. pp. 63-64). Along with common diseases, bacterial wilt was found in Richmond Co., the first known occurrence in eastern Virginia.
Cook summarized, "1947 results of late blight forecasting in eastern Virginia" (Ibid. pp.54-56; also, Food Packer, December 1947). He claimed growers saved up to $2 million in Virginia by not spraying, a saving made possible by predicting that the weather was unfavorable for late blight.
Roane reported on "Varietal reaction of oats to powdery mildew in Virginia" (Ibid. p.391). This was Roane"s first publication in the Plant Disease Reporter. He found the range of reactions to be very narrow; only some winter varieties remained free of mildew. Fenne et al. reported on the late summer alfalfa and clover disease survey (Ibid. p.44). Stem nematode (Ditylenchus sp.) damage was found in Henrico Co., the first report of it in Virginia.
Nugent summarized, "Late blight in Virginia in 1948" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. Suppl. 178:213- 214); apparently, Cook had taken a position in the Marketing Division of the U.S.D.A. Blight appeared in the lower Eastern Shore area in May and was estimated to cause only a 5 to 10 percent loss. After Cook moved to the U.S.D.A., he published an article, "Forecasting late blight for the Charleston, South Carolina area from Norfolk, Virginia" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. Suppl. 178:217-219). He had correctly predicted there would be no spread of late blight although blight was found in isolated patches early in the growing season.
The only new diseases reported from Virginia in 1948 were the stem nematode on alfalfa (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 32:445) and dogwood spot anthracnose (Ibid. pp.253-255), caused by Elsinöe sp.
In contrast to the 1946 annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society where four plant disease topics were discussed, there were no disease topic on the program for the December 1-3, 1947 meeting. Beginning with the April 1948 issue of Virginia Fruit, fruit diseases were a popular topic. A. H. Teske once again discussed "The peach brown rot situation" [Va. Fruit 36 (4):31-34]. Apparently heavy losses were sustained by Virginia peach growers in 1947. Teske seemed to be scaring growers into taking better care of their orchards. According to him, pruning cankers and destroying mummies is necessary if fungicides are to be effective.
Hurt followed with a general discussion of "Peach fungicides [Va. Fruit 36 (5):9-14]. In the brown rot section he emphasized ridding the orchard of inoculum sources. Hurt had stressed this practice for many years.
Both Groves and Hurt (above) addressed the Fruit Growers School at V.P.I. in January. Groves spoke on "Fungicides for apples", [Ibid.:14-18]. He divided his talk into three topics; types of materials available, seasonal requirements and varietal requirements. There was nothing new in his paper.
Fred Dreiling, Extension Horticulturist, spoke at the Institute of Rural Affairs, V.P.I. on "Horticultural practices and brown rot of peaches" [Va. Fruit 36(12):20-23]. He emphasized disking to bury or disrupt spore-forming structures on the ground, thinning fruit and coveringn the maturing fruit with sulphur. Thus, he emphasized coordination of horticultural and pathological practices. His talk was much like Teske"s earlier report on the brown rot situation, (Ibid. 36(4):31-34]. Both talks were based on Hurt"s research and reports.
There were several articles in the 1948 Southern Planter (vol. 109) on plant diseases. Jenkins discussed "Disease resistant tobacco varieties" and included an excellent history of black shank [Sou. Planter 109(1):16-17]. It had been discovered in Georgia in 1915, North Carolina in 1930, and Virginia in 1939. The Oxford lines 1, 2, 3, and 4 were flue-cured varieties bred in North Carolina that kept N.C. farmers in business. However, only Oxford 1 was of acceptable yield and quality when grown in Virginia. With this as a resistant parent, Jenkins had bred and released the VESTA lines of four types:
- Jamaica leaf type - VESTA 11, -26, -30, -33.
- Yellow Special type - VESTA 44, -52, -53.
- Yellow Mammoth type - VESTA 55, -64.
- Mammoth type - VESTA 46, -47, -62.
Jenkins had begun releasing these in 1946 and claimed they were 95 to 98 percent resistant to black shank and as good as 'Yellow Special" for root rot resistance and they yielded well.
Later, Jenkins discussed, "Plastic glazing for farm plant beds" [Ibid. 109(2):17]. He claimed glazing offered several advantages over cloth, namely, heat retention, high quality light transmission, protection from insects, and plant disease control. In tests, insect and blue mold control was absolute and seedlings were more robust than under cloth. On the negative side, glazing had to be mounted on sashes, and plants had to be watered.
Fenne published three articles, "Start planning early to control blue mold" [Ibid. 109 (3):10-11], "Three serious diseases of tobacco "[Ibid. 109(5):47-48], and "How to control tobacco diseases" [Ibid. 109(6):18-19], in which he reviewed the contents of some Extension Service bulletins. In the first article, he emphasized the need to produce healthy seedlings at home, rather than risk importing plants and their diseases. Thus, there is a need to control blue mold. In the second, Fenne described and compared black shank, sore shin, and Granville wilt. These are described as soil-borne diseases and each damages the stem. For control (a) prevent their introducion or (b) on infested soils, grow resistant varieties. In the third article, emphasis was on root knot, meadow nematodes and black root rot. Growing resistant varieties is the best way to control these diseases but certain rotations and soil amendments enhance growth in the presence of the pathogens.
Gene Smith Moody, Assistant Agricultural Editor, interviewed R.C. Moore, Assistant Horticulturist, V.P.I., and wrote that "Chestnuts resist blight disease" [Ibid. 109(4):16]. She reviewed the history of breeding for blight resistance in chestnut. Hybrids (F1) between American and Chinese species produced by the U.S.D.A. were planted in Floyd Co. near the Rocky Knob camp ground. Plants which survived blight were selected for nut quality but not for tree type. (Some of the original trees still survive in 1997).
During May, Henderson served as Chairman of the Agricultural Section of the Virginia Academy of Science and Cook was Vice-chairman. Henderson discussed, "Studies on damping-off of alfalfa" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. p. 70. 1948). Rhizoctonia sp. was the primary cause of damping-off; 41 percent of seedlings of the variety 'Williamsburg' survived in infested soils, much more than any other variety tested, once again proving its adaptability to Virginia conditions.
In 1949, the Section of Plant Pathology and Botany was separated from the Department of Biology and the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology was established. The events leading up to this reincarnation will be discussed later. The separation occurred about September 7, and the Wingard Era III was under way. Events that occurred in 1949 will therefore be described in both the Wingard Era II and the Wingard Era III.
Lawrence Miller returned to peanut research at Holland after completing residence requirements for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota. He had been promoted to Associate Professor. John L. LaPrade was named Associate Professor to manage tobacco seed production at the Tobacco Disease Research Station in Chatham. This station had been newly established in 1949 in order to produce seed of black shank-resistant varieties and to test germplasm for black shank resistance. Jenkins was promoted to Professor of Plant Pathology and was placed in charge of the station. LaPrade"s arrival gave Jenkins relief from plot management, hybridization, seed harvest, storage, and progeny tests.
T. M. Starling returned from Iowa State College to resume his position as small grains breeder in the Department of Agronomy. Roane and Starling would work together for 38 years to produce disease-resistant varieties of wheat, oats, and barley.
John Amos was hired as Extension Specialist to work half-time on weed control and half-time on insect problems. This relieved Fenne from the weed work and allowed him to devote full-time to extension plant disease work.
Only Miller presented a paper at the 40th meeting of the American Phytopathological Society held in Pittsburgh December 6-8, 1948. He described, "Cultural and parasitic races of Cercospora arachidicola and Cercospora personata" (Phytopathology 39:15). No doubt, the data were obtained while he was completing his residence requirements for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota. At the same meeting the list of committees showed Fenne to be continued as a member of the Extension Committee. No other Virginian"s participated actively in the meeting and no research papers were published in Phytopathology by Virginia"s plant pathologists.
Only two major publications were issued by Virginians in 1948. Although Cook had left the Truck Station in 1948, he published a paper, "Forecasting late blight epiphytoties of potatoes and tomatoes", based on work done at the Truck Station (J. Agr. Res. 78:545-563). Cook established a critical cumulative rainfall line. If the rainfall rose above the critical line and average of minimum and maximum temperature fell below 75° F, late blight could become epiphytotic if the conditions met these criteria for 7 days. The procedure proved accurate for Tidewater, Virginia and Charleston, S.C.
In 1948, Henderson released, "Vamorr 48 and 50, Two New Flue-Cured Tobacco Varieties Resist Mosaic and Rootrot", (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 427.10 pp). In the bulletin, he gave descriptions of mosaic and rootrot, described the performance of the new varieties in comparison with popular commercial varieties. He gave no yield data and did not give the pedigrees of the varieties.
Donald P. Limber, U.S.D.A. Pathologist reported on collecting Curuvlaria sp. from gladiolus corms grown near Norfolk. He offered an explanation as to how this fungus was brought in from Florida (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 33:66-68). Fenne reported on, "Tobacco diseases in Virginia, 1948" (Ibid. pp. 75-76). The usual diseases were encountered. Black shank appeared for the first time in Sussex and Greensville Cos. Hollow stalk (Bacillus carotovorus) occurred on tobacco where growers topped and suckered during wet or humid weather. Fenne also reported that only common diseases of small grains occurred in 1948 and crops were of high quality and yield (Ibid. p. 80). In a report on, "Alfalfa and soybean diseases in Virginia, 1948", Fenne stated that stem rot was the most damaging disease of alfalfa (Ibid. pp. 90-91). Stem nematode damage was found in Henrico Co. In soybean seed treatment tests with Arasan, stands were improved only on lower quality seed. R.A. Jehle and Anna E. Jenkins made a roadside survey in 1949 for dogwood spot anthracnose in four states. (Ibid. pp. 198- 201). In Virginia, they surveyed only on Eastern Shore and found it in three locations of Accomac Co. It had been found only in Princess Anne Co. before. In the March 1949, Fenne et al. made another "Alfalfa-clover disease survey in Virginia" (Ibid. pp. 255-257). Several varieties of alfalfa had been planted on Ditylenchus-infested land in Henrico Co. Surprisingly, 'Nemastan" which had been bred for stem nematode resistance, was nearly completely destroyed. There were some resistant selections but stands of all commercial varieties were very poor. Bacterial wilt was found in James City Co. for the first time. Roane reported on results from inoculating barley varieties with Ustilago nuda spores (Ibid. pp. 344- 345). Five entries (CC X Sel 43, Hooded 5, Huga, Texan, and Trebi) of the 36 inoculated in 1948 showed no smut in 1949. Nugent reported that, "Web blight of snap beans in Eastern Virginia" destroyed the majority of plants in a five acre field at Toano (James City Co. in August 1949 (Ibid. p.402). This was a new disease for Virginia. Fenne reported heavy damage to tobacco and peanuts from stem rot, Sclerotium rolfsii (Ibid. p. 403) in Sussex, Greensville, and Brunswick Cos. Paul Miller and Muriel O"Brian reported severe damage from blue mold in Virginia in 1949 (Ibid. p. 418). Roane described "The occurrence of diseases of small grains in Virginia in 1949", (Ibid. pp. 480-482). Although no new diseases were reported, a curious situation occurred in barley fields on the Curls Neck Farm in Henrico Co. The farmer had planted 250 acres of Wong in September, 1948; the plants in this field were very healthy. In December, he planted a 400-acre field from the same seed lot; this field was completely destroyed by stripe (Helminthosporium gramineum). This was the most spectacular damage to barley by stripe ever recorded in Virginia.
At the Virginia Academy of Science meeting in May, Nugent discussed, "The control of scurf of sweet potatoes" (Proc. Va. Acad. Sci. 1949:76). He reported cuttings produced less scurf (3.7) than sprouts (54 on a scale of 0 to 100); clean roots produced roots that scored (16), scurfy roots (39); roots in sand (25) vs roots in soil (31) and roots dipped in HgCl2 + S produced (19), HgCl2 (30), and no treatment (35). Thus, cleanest crops should be grown from cuttings produced from clean treated roots sprouted in sand.
A. H. Teske, V.P.I. Extension Horticulturist described "The Virginia apple spray program for 1949" [Va. Fruit 37 (2):26-30]. This was the time when DDT was used extensively in orchards and sulfurs and Fermate were the primary fungicides. Hurt contributed an article, "Apple scab and its control" [Va. Fruit 37(3):30-32]. He gave a nice description of the disease cycle and the materials for scab control. Liquid lime-sulphur, wettable sulphurs and organic mercury compounds were discussed. He emphasized that mercurial residues on fruit were not tolerated and that workmen using mercury materials should clean up well before handling food or eating. Hurt also wrote about the "Number one peach disease in Virginia" [Va. Fruit 37 (4):27-29]. Brown rot received the honors but leaf curl, scab and bacterial shot-hole were also discussed. No organic products were recommended, only various sulphurs were discussed.
Groves contributed an article, the "Number one disease problems in apple orchards" [Va. Fruit 37 (4):24-27]. He report apple scab as the No. 1 disease and that cedar rust was No. 2. He described spray programs for controlling them but made the point that DDT had modified apple insect control especially late in the season. In the past, insects controlled the spray schedule; with DDT fewer insect controlling sprays were needed and hence the number of times fungicides were applied was also reduced. As a consequence, black rot, bitter rot, sooty blotch and fruit spot were increasing.
Two horticulturists got into plant pathology; Frank Horsfall, Jr., described, "Peach leaf curl in 1949" [Va. Fruit 37 (6):20-22]. A. H. Teske wrote about, "The peach brown rot situation" Ibid.:16-18]. Both of these articles were interesting accounts but neither offered new information.
William M. Watson was in charge of barberry eradication work in Virginia and West Virginia; his office was in Bluefield, V. Va. He gave a good account of the work in, "Barberry eradication controls rust" [Sou. Planter 110 (4):26-27, 1948]. He gave a life/disease cycle in the text accompanied by an explicit diagram. Berberis canadensis (known as Alleghany or native barberry) occurs in Southwest Virginia and B. vulgaris (known as bush or common barberry) grows in northwestern counties, especially the Shenandoah Valley. Where eradication had taken place, an eight-bushel gain had been achieved without changing varieties. He described the progress made since 1934 and the need to re-work cleared areas. With the advent of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, Watson thought farmers could easily help their own cause.
About September 10, the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology was established. The teaching program facilitated it. The events leading up to our separation from the Biology Department were reviewed earlier, but for emphasis, they are repeated here. In 1948, Mullin who had held the teaching position, resigned to return to the Truck Station. In the academic year 1948-9, A. B. Massey was resurrected from the Wildlife Unit to replace Mullin. Massey had held the position after Vaughan left in 1944, so he knew what to do. I. D. Wilson, Head of the Biology Department sought help from E. C. Stakman (he had trained Harrar, Vaughan, and Mullin) for a replacement. Huey I. Borders, Pathologist at the Homestead, Florida Station agreed to take the job. Two weeks before the fall quarter was to begin, Borders came to Blacksburg to find housing. He had waited too long; nothing satisfactory to him was available. In essence he said, "The heck with it", and went back to Homestead. With classes bearing down on him, Wilson suggested to President Walter S. Newman that the people in the Section of Plant Pathology and Botany should assume responsibility for pathology and physiology courses. Newman agreed. He approached Wingard who accepted, provided the Section became a department again. Again Newman agreed. So, about September 10, with classes scheduled to start about September 20, the Department was established. Shear, Henderson and Roane were designated to assume the teaching responsibilities. In the fall quarter, Shear would give lectures in Plant Physiology and Roane would instruct the laboratory. In the winter and spring, Roane would teach Plant Pathology and in the spring Henderson would teach Forest Pathology. Our qualifications and facilities will be discussed in the Wingard Era, III.
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