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A History of Plant Pathology in Virginia: The Wingard Era - III (1949-1964)
The Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology came into being about September 10, 1949, at the same time it also became a part of the College of Agriculture. Events leading to its creation were described at the end of the Wingard Era II. During the period 1935 - 1949, no one in the newly created department had held any teaching assignments. From 1949 on, instruction in plant pathology and plant physiology was an obligation of the Department. Since there had been no graduate program in botanical sciences from 1944 to 1949, the Department's immediate concern was to organize an undergraduate course in plant physiology; Plant Physiology 301 was to begin about September 25. G. M. Shear was to give the lectures and C. W. Roane was to be the laboratory instructor. Although Shear was a well educated plant physiologist, Roane's qualifications were somewhat questionable. He had taken one quarter of plant physiology (essentially the same course he was to help teach) taught by a plant pathologist, J. G. Harrar. To further complicate the matter, there was no laboratory manual available; therefore, some sort of instructions had to be prepared for handing out. Shear chose the textbook "Plant Physiology" by Meyer and Anderson, and fortunately, there was a companion laboratory manual by the same authors. Unfortunately, it was out of print. Fortunately, Shear had one copy. Roane and Shear decided to abstract several exercises each week, mimeograph them, and thus prepare hand-outs. They selected the exercises that illustrated the principles elucidated in the preceding lectures. They required the students to record the objectives, observations, and conclusions or inferences for each exercise and to hand them in within one week for grading. This caused much grumbling among the students who were mostly Aggies. The heaviest burden actually fell on Roane who had to read and grade up to five exercises from 60 students each week.
In order to present the laboratory, equipment and laboratory space had to be borrowed from the Biology Department. Fortunately, I. D. Wilson, Head of the Biology Department remained cooperative and the new department persevered through the first quarter. The experience provided numerous lessons in how to and how not to teach. An extensive wish list of equipment and space needs was generated. Roane found the quarter to be very difficult as the teaching was an add-on. He had to work with the corn breeder during the fall to score plants for stalk rot reaction, had to prepare lectures in plant pathology to be presented in the winter quarter, and was trying to generate a suitable dissertation and show some leadership in the relatively new Experiment Station grain pathology projects. So much for the most pressing fall quarter needs; our personnel and missions for 1950 and beyond should be outlined.
The new department was staffed by five professors, S. A. Wingard, Head, S. B. Fenne, R. G. Henderson and A. B. Groves, plant pathologists and G. M. Shear, plant physiologist; five associate professors of plant pathology, R. H. Hurt, W. A. Jenkins, J. L. LaPrade, L. I. Miller, and C. W. Roane; and one assistant professor, Luben Spasoff. Groves was stationed at Winchester, Hurt at Charlottesville, Jenkins and LaPrade at Chatham, and Miller at Holland in Nansemond Co., now Suffolk. Spasoff had been transferred from Chatham to Blacksburg in April 1949. Among the assistant and associate professors, only Jenkins had earned the Ph.D. degree; all others had earned M.S. degrees. However, Miller and Roane had completed residence requirements toward the Ph.D. By the time Wingard retired in 1964, the staff would have grown to 28 faculty, and the coverage of plant diseases would have extended into nematology, ornamentals, pasture crops, lawn and turf grasses. Plant physiology would have grown into weed control research. Extension man-years would also increase. Much of the growth of the Department can be determined from examining the document for the "Comprehensive Review of the Department, September 30 to October 4, 1963" and from the Agricultural Research Reports of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station published between 1950 and 1959 (5 reports). The history of plant pathology in Virginia gradually becomes more difficult to relate from 1950 onward because the number of people, programs, publications, students, and disciplines gradually increased. It will be earier to assemble the facts and present them chronologically, but a second crop-by-crop, discipline-by-discipline, person-by-person might lead to a more comprehendible text. On the other hand, by reporting chronologically, the author feels that he is less apt to omit pertinent facts; therefore, Era III will be covered year-by-year.
The most obvious event in 1950 was the teaching of Plant Pathology 311 and 321 in the winter (II) and spring (III) quarters by Roane and the teaching of Forest Pathology in spring by Henderson. In Roane's case, he had as a graduate student in 1943-44, helped A. B. Massey teach Plant Pathology but had never been wholly responsible for a course. However, it helped that he was to teach the course he had taken in 1942. Choosing a textbook was more difficult. Three were available; one by Melhus & Kent, one by Heald, and one by Chester. Chester's book "Nature and Prevention of Plant Diseases", 2nd ed., 1947 was the most modern and had the most pertinent information, but since the winter quarter syllabus stated that principles, generalities, structure and classification of pathogens, symptoms, and disease control measures would be discussed, after the first two chapters were covered, one would skip to chapters 15 through 20. Chapters 3 through 14 would be covered in the spring quarter. Students were accustomed to proceeding chapterwise through the text. Although Roane had to adapt the book to the course and not the course to the book, the winter quarter proceeded smoothly.
The spring quarter was more difficult. Plant Pathology 321 carried 4 credits, 3 lectures and one 3-hour laboratory. This tied Roane to Blacksburg and made trips to field stations where small grains had to be scored for disease reactions very difficult. Fortunately, in the early years of the breeding program, most of the work was at Blacksburg. Among students in the first class of Plant Pathology was W. W. Osborne who would later join the faculty as Extension Plant Pathologist.
Henderson had a difficult time, also. Forest Pathology 302 carried 3 credits; 2 lectures and one 3-hour laboratory. Henderson had field work to do in the spring quarter at Chatham, Charlotte Court House, and Glade Spring. He also had a number of farmer-cooperators in Lee and Prince Edward Cos. Having never taught before, and not having been trained in forest pathology, he had to develop laboratories and field trips of interest and satisfactory quality. He quickly made friends with the U.S.D.A. white pine blister rust agent Henry E. Yost of Harrisonburg, the State Forester at Charlottesville, and George Hepting of the U.S.D.A. Forest Disease Laboratory at Asheville, N.C. These people gave Henderson considerable competent help and enabled him to present a very fine course from the outset.
When we began teaching the laboratory portion of our courses, Plant Physiology was taught in room 301 Price Hall which was divided half into tables and half into chairs. This room is now subdivided into office space. Later, we were allotted room 401 for teaching Plant Pathology and Forest Pathology. The Biology Department had stripped it. We inherited 4 walls and an undulating floor. The floor was leveled and we acquired 4 tables that looked like discarded conference tables. We placed the tables near the south windows and armchairs in the remainder. We had to wire the tables to install light sources for illuminating microscopes. We placed pull- chain sockets on the tables and inserted bulbs and turned on the power. Sparks flew and fuses blew. We had to insulate the chains and wiring before students could cause mayhem or get shocking results.
According to the 1950 college catalogue the following courses were scheduled for 1949-50:
- 301 - Plant Physiology - I, 2H, 3L, 3C.
- 302 - Forest Pathology - III, 2H, 3L, 3C.
- 311, 321 - Plant Pathology - II, 3H, 3C; III 3H, 3L, 4C.
- 401 - Applied Mycology - III, 2H, 3L, 3C.
- 501 - Diseases of Agronomic Crops - II, 2H, 3L, 3C.
- 502 - Diseases of Horticultural Crops - II, 2A, 3L, 3C.
- 505 - Research and Thesis, Plant Pathology or Plant Physiology - Hours and Credits arr.
The last four items were residual courses from Harrar's days. They would not be offered again for a few years.
As to non-instructional activities, the Virginia State Society of Horticulture held its annual meeting in December 1949; the proceedings were published in January 1950. In a panel discussion entitled, "Insect and disease situation and compatibility of spray materials", Dr. J. M. Goldsworthy of the U.S.D.A. at Beltsville, Md., discussed, "A new approach to the control of apple scab. Elgetol (=dinitro ortho cresol) was used as a ground spray and Puratized Agricultural Spray (phenyl mercury triethanol ammonium lactate) as a foliage spray; in combination the two reduced the number of leaf lesions but not sufficiently for commercial use [Va. Fruit 38 (1):141- 147].
"The effects of timely blossom sprays on the control of brown rot of peaches" was also discussed by Goldsworthy. As a result of surveys in 1947, 1948, and 1950, it was shown that wettable sulfur applied beginning with blossoming gave best results [Va. Fruit 38 (1):147-151]. Groves discussed "Compatibility of Spray Materials". Compatibilities are physical, chemical, and biological. In chemical compatibility, there is no reaction between materials; in physical, there is no mixing effect that would be deleterious to the solution or suspension; in biological, there would be no impairment of arachicidal, fungicidal or insecticidal effectiveness. Groves reviewed the results of compatibility tests among benzene hexachloride, Bordeaux mixture, DDT, DDD, dinitro materials, Ferbam HETP, TEPP, lead arsenate lime lime-sulfur, mercurial products, oil, parathion, sulfur, and zinc sulfate-lime, [Va. Fruit 38 (1):151-157]. Compatibility charts would be featured on the cover of the annual spray bulletin (Ext. Bul. 131) for many years.
In a later issue of Virginia Fruit, efforts to obtain a new building for the Piedmont Fruit Research Laboratory were described. The new building south of Charlottesville and the old building it replaced were pictured [Va. Fruit (6):4, 6, 8].
The 41st meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held in New York December 28-30, 1949. The abstracts were published in January 1950. Only Henderson and Roane attended from Virginia. Henderson described, "Flue-cured tobacco resistant to mosaic and root rot" (Phytopathology 40:11-12). Vamorr (Virginia Mosaic Root Rot) 48 and 50 were described. Holmes' Nicotiana glutinosa was the source of mosaic resistance and 'Yellow Special' was the source of root rot resistance. Henderson claimed Vamorr 48 and Vamorr 50 had greater root rot resistance than the Yellow Special parent. From Virginia, only Fenne was appointed to a Society committee (Extension) for 1950. Jenkins was elected President of the Southern Division of the Society after serving as Vice-President at the Biloxi meeting in February. He also presented a paper, "Some aspects of breeding tobacco for disease resistance", in which he expressed the opinion that resistance to most diseases improved as the vegetative cycle was lengthened (Ibid. 40:789).
At the Potomac Division meetings, Nugent of the Truck Station described, "The relative importance of the various control measures for sweet potato scurf" (Ibid. 40:873). Of all the treatments and planting media tested, using cuttings was the most effective control measure. No research bulletins were issued by the Department in 1950; however, Roane was an author with Edward Shulkcum and five other agronomists of, "The 1949 Official Virginia Varietal Tests of Corn Hybrids, Barley, Oats, Wheat, Soybeans, Peanuts, and Tobacco" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 432, 1950). Roane scored all the small grain nurseries for disease reactions and helped describe the various entries in the nurseries. Except for lodging and breaking of corn, diseases were not considered in data on other crops.
Only Groves published journal article in 1950 (J. S. Cooley and A. B. Groves. Root and collar winter injury of apple trees. Phytopathology 40:355-362). Cooley and Groves concluded that most of the injuries observed were caused by a sequence of weather conditions which they suggested be called "physicochemical injury."
Groves published a review of the use of, "Sulfur fungicides in fruit production" (Soil Sci. 70:67-72). This was a contribution to a symposium on the use of sulfur in agriculture sponsored by the Soil Science Society of America.
The Plant Disease Reporter vol. 34, 1950, contained several articles on Virginia plant pathology. Jenkins described nematode injury to tobacco seedlings attributed to Panagrolaimus sp. and Chiloplacus sp. (P.D.R. 34:177-178). No doubt dead tissue had been inhabited by these saprophytes; the true cause of the seedling damage was not disclosed. Fenne, Henderson, and others reported on their spring alfalfa-clover disease survey (Ibid. 34:204-205). No new diseases were reported. Bacterial wilt apparently damaged fields of alfalfa in Roanoke, Botetourt, and Rockbridge Cos. Fenne and Extension Agronomist W. C. White discussed the significance of seed treatment of soybeans of various quality. Although treatment with Arasan produced a 5% increase in germination, laboratory tests did not yield results that would warrant seed treatment as a requirement for certification. G. H. Hepting, Forest Pathology, U.S.D.A., reported severe damage to dogwoods caused by Ascochyta cornicola along the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Roanoke (Ibid. 34:227). Fenne and J. O. Rowell, Extension Entomologist, reported extensive yellowing of alfalfa caused by the three-cornered alfalfa hopper (Ibid. 34:344). Fenne reported numerous occurrences of tomato internal browning, cause not given (Ibid. 34:352). Roane summarized the corn disease situation for 1947-1950 (Ibid. 34:394-396). Stalk rot, ear rot and leaf blight were the most destructive diseases. Northern leaf blight was the most destructive leaf fungus but in 1950, southern leaf blight which usually was severe only in the southeast quarter spread over the entire state. Gibberella fujikuroi caused most of the stalk rot and breakage in eastern Virginia. Damage was so severe that stalks in the peanut area would not pass through a corn harvester. Most of the ears fell to the ground. Gray leaf spot, caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis, was found at Blacksburg in 1949, the first time in Virginia. In 1950 it was very destructive to hybrid varieties in yield trials; no resistance was observed. It was also found in Roanoke and Tazwell Cos. In commercial fields, gray leaf spot was more of a novelty than a menace. The introduction of no-till corn farming in the 1970's would change that.
In 1950, the Virginia Academy of Science began publishing the Virginia Journal of Science and used it to publish the abstracts of papers presented at the annual Academy meetings. In the Agricultural Section over which Fenne presided, five papers were presented on plant disease topics. Wingard and Henderson described, "New fungicides for tomato late blight control" (Va. J. Sci. 1:331). Zineb was superior to tribasic copper sulphate and copper dust; all were superior to no fungicide. Mullin of the Truck Station described, "Results of some of the newer fungicides in controlling mildew of fall snap beans" (Ibid. 1:331). He tested a number dithiocarbamate derivatives, tribasic copper sulphate, and sulfur. Only S controlled powdery mildew and produced marketable beans. F. S. Andrews, V.P.I. Horticulturist reported on "Resistance of lima beans to nematodes at Walkerton, Va., 1949" (Ibid. 1:332). 'Henderson' was the most susceptible; nine selections were more resistant. Henderson described his work with the, "Stem nematode, the cause of a new alfalfa disease in Virginia" (Ibid. 1:332). Two lines obtained from O. F. Smith, U.S.D.A., Nevada, were resistant to Ditylenchus dipsaci on the W. J. Burlee farm in Henrico Co.; 18 other lines and varieties were susceptible. Miller described, "The effect of nematicide and fungicide soil treatments on root knot, pod rot, nodulation, and yield of peanuts" (Ibid. 1:334). Several compounds reduced the incidence of root knot but no useful data were obtained on pod rot.
In 1950, the Virginia Academy of Science published a book, "The James River Basis: Past, Present and Future". Wingard contributed a chapter, "Plant pathology: A major factor in Agriculture" (pp. 91-106). This article must have been written in late 1942 because there are no references to accomplishments after 1942. I suspect the book was scheduled to be published in 1943 or 1944 but the war may have caused it to be deferred. Wingard wrote a very eloquent, concise essay on the history plant pathology in Virginia up to 1942. This publication has not been seen by many plant pathologists nor has his 1951 essay that appeared in the obscure Plant Disease Reporter Supplement 200 of 1951.
The Agricultural Experiment Station issued a report for the year July 1, 1949 - June 30, 1950. All plant pathologists contributed items. Red leaf appeared for the first time in oats. Later it would be found to be caused by the barley yellow dwarf virus. Combinations of copper sulfate and sulfur were found to be better dusts for peanut leaf spot control than was sulfur alone. Other plant disease reports have been discussed previously. The burley tobacco variety 'B-29' having mosaic and root rot resistance was released.
Only Fenne contributed an article to 1950 Southern Planter. He discussed control of blue mold of tobacco [Sou. Planter 111(2):14, 56] and emphasized the use of narrow seed beds, Fermate sprays or dusts, and prevention of the appearance of blue mold.
The former head of the Department, 1908-1915, H. S. Reed died May 12, 1950, in Berkeley, California. He was the first person at V.P.I. to be called "Plant Patholgist". In the fall, John I. Shafer, Jr., was hired as Associate Professor of Plant Physiology. He was to teach the Plant Physiology Laboratory in the fall quarter and to take over the entire course in 1951. He was also to conduct plant physiology research. His appointment relieved Roane of responsibility for Plant Physiology Laboratory, and placed the responsibility in the hands of a competent physiologist.
In Fenne's 1950 annual report, late blight was considered the most damaging vegetable disease. Tomato growers who protected their crops with fungicides were well rewarded. About 80% of the tobacco seed beds were dusted or sprayed to prevent blue mold. In soybean seed treatment demonstrations, spectacularly improved stands resulted from treating seed of poor quality but little gain resulted from treating high quality seeds. Fenne was a consultant to fungicide dealers and was able to convince formulators to prepare a copper-rotenone dust for gardeners. In 1950, it was the most popular dust sold to gardeners.
In 1950, the new Department taught Plant Pathology and Forest Pathology for the first time and a new position in plant physiology was created. A new greenhouse facility was occupied; the Department had sufficient space to carry out plant disease research for the first time.
In 1951, John Shafer's father died so John resigned to manage the family lumber business at Logansport, Indiana. Maynard G. Hale, having just earned the Ph.D. degree at Ohio State University, was hired on September 1 as Associate Professor to teach Plant Physiology and to expand the offerings in that field. His wife Polly was hired as a technician to work with Henderson and Roane. William E. Chappell was hired as Professor of Plant Physiology to develop a program in brush control and herbicide research.
The course offerings were continued as in the 1949-50 academic year but it was apparent that there would be changes soon. Other departments had a growing number of graduate students who would be well served by the addition of advanced courses. There was a corresponding need to reinstate the Masters degree in plant pathology and physiology. Hale would spearhead this project. J. C. Walker of the University of Wisconsin had published a new plant pathology textbook in 1950. The order of chapters was more logical than that of Chester's book so Roane opted to use it as the textbook from winter of 1951 onward.
The Virginia State Horticultural Society held its 55th annual meeting January 15-17, 1951. No V.P.I. pathologists were on the program. However, Groves participated in some of the discussions and provided technical clarification about some diseases. Dr. A. B. Burrell of Cornell University spoke on, "How we fight apple scab in New York" [Va. Fruit 39 (2):29-39]. He gave some interesting information about the incubation period and temperature; 61-75o F was optimum. Dr. J. C. Dunegan, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, Md., contributed an article "Control of scrab fungus on the Delicious Apple" [Ibid 39 (8):10-14]; note the misspelling of "scab". He discussed the failure of mercury sprays to eradicate sepal infections (A blessing; Hg would have created residue problems), and presented an early season program that included dinitro, sulfur, and fermate. Neither the Southern Planter nor Virginia Fruit published fruit spray schedules in 1951.
Surprisingly, only Fenne published a research paper in Phytopathology in 1951 (W. C. Price & S. B. Fenne. Tomato rosette, a severe disease caused by a strain of tobacco mosaic virus. Phytopathology 41:1091-1098). Tomato rosette was observed in the Roanoke area in 1949 and 1950 and the Norfolk area in 1950. Rosetted plants resembled those injured by 2,4-D. They were severely stunted, had distorted foliage and failed to fruit.
The American Phytopathological Society met at Memphis December 1-3, 1950; abstracts appeared in January 1951. No Virginia workers presented papers. Fenne was reappointed to the Extension Committee for 1951 (Phytopathology 41:382). Groves presented evidence at the Potomac Division meeting that orchards of 'Rome' apples which had received applications of naphthalene acetic acid in 1949, had a high incidence of black rot in 1950 (Ibid. 41:561). Partially developed fruit which normally would have fallen remained attached and became infected with Physalospora obtusa which spread to other fruit and foliage.
Groves reviewed the status of, "Black Root Rot of Apple" Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech Bul. 118) and reported that no control measures had been discovered. Although the disease may be locally serious, it is not a major cause of tree losses in Virginia orchards. Replanting after a tree had died from black root rot was deemed futile.
Wingard reviewed, "The role of plant pathology in Virginia agriculture" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. Supp. 200:36-41). This publication has been a valuable resource for preparing a history of plant pathology in Virginia. In smooth prose so typical of Wingard's writing, it provided a good review of the accomplishments of Virginia's plant pathologists up through 1950. No references were included but it filled the gap from 1942 to 1950 that had been omitted from Wingard's chapter in The James River Basin book of 1950.
There were a number of brief articles pertaining to Virginia plant diseases in The Plant Disease Reporter for 1951. Nugent, Fenne, and W. C. White, V.P.I. Extension Agronomist found that Arasan seed treatment significantly increased stands of soybean but gave only a minor increase in yield (Pl. Reptr. 35:82-83). Wingard and R. D. Sears, Agronomist at Charlotte Court House, reported an occurrence of fusarium wilt of sesame in a variety test (Ibid. 173). Reference was made to the occurrence of internal cork of sweet potato in Virginia; it was first reported by C. J. Nusbaum (Ibid. 227) of South Carolina (S.C. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 381. 1950). G. H. Hepting reported a first occurrence of stem rust (Peridermium sp.) on Virginia pine in four western Virginia counties (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 35:335). Roane cooperated with R. J. Leukel, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, on seed treatment tests with oats (Ibid. 445-451). Oak wilt was reported from Augusta Co. in Virginia Extension Circular 621 (1954).
At the spring meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, Nugent was secretary of the Agricultural Section. Miller spoke on, "The effect of ethylene dibromide soil treatment on root- knot control, nodulation, and yield of peanut". Treatment controlled root knot, increased nodulation, and gave significant increases in root weight, hay and nut yields (Va. J. Sci. 2:109- 112). Hurt spoke on, "Organic mercury as fungicides" (Ibid. 299-300). They acted as eradicants for apple scab.
Fenne published the first edition of, "Diseases of Forage Crops" (Va. Agri. Ext. Bul. 188). He covered diseases of alfalfa, clover, soybean, and lespedeza. Grasses were ignored. Only black and white illustrations were used. Only Fenne had an article in the 1951 Southern Planter. He promoted, "Better control for blue mold" [Sou. Planter 112 (3):26-27]. Dusts and sprays of ferbam and zineb were recommended for prevention and paradichlorobenzene fumigation for prevention and eradication. Copper materials were no longer recommended.
The American Tobacco Company began the publication of full-page advertisements on tobacco culture. The first, "Research makes it possible to produce finer tobacco" [Ibid. 112 (10):11], emphasized efforts by experiment stations to breed black-shank resistant varieties. In the second, "Granville wilt controlled through research discoveries" [Ibid. 112 (11):2], the efforts by U.S.D.A., North Carolina and Virginia workers in breeding Oxford 26 flue-cured tobacco and subsequent efforts to combine Granville wilt and black-shank resistance were described. In the third [Ibid. 112 (12):3]. Sand drown (= magnesium deficiency) and the effects of excessive chlorine were described. These advertisements were continued through 1952.
There were no personnel changes in 1952 nor were there any changes in course listings for the Department. In referring to the grade sheets for Plant Pathology, W. M. Powell was listed; Powell became an outstanding tobacco pathologist at North Caroline State University. Groves spoke at the annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society in January 1952 on, "Fruit disease problems in 1951" [Va. Fruit 40 (2):127-130]. He pointed out that the importance of reviewing the situation in the previous year lies in its application to the present year. The weather was unfavorable for most disease development; consequently, there may be less inoculum in orchards in 1952. There yet may be enough to cause serious damage if orchards are not protected. There are no changes in the spray recommendations for 1952.
At the 1952 Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society (A.P.S.) meetings, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 4-6, Jenkins in two papers reported the occurrence of a lethal virus and attempted to explain some erratic behavior flue-cured varieties resistant to Granville wilt and black shank (Phytopathology 42:284).
Miller spoke at the annual meeting of the A.P.S. held at Cornell University, September 8-10. In his paper, "Control of the sting nematode on peanuts in Virginia" (Phytopathology 42:470), he reported that the sting nematode (Belonolaimus gracilis) had been first found in Virginia 1949. Fumigation of infested soils with ethylene dibromide two weeks prior to planting was found to result in profitable yields of hay and nuts. Tolerance to injury associated with sting nematodes was found in several bunch, runner, and Spanish type peanuts.
Roane read two papers at the same A.P.S. meeting. The subjects, "Nuclear cytology and morphologic variation in Helminthosporium carbonum Ullstrup", and "A method of preparing fungi for cytological studies", were based on a portion of a dissertation being prepared for the University of Minnesota (Phytopathology 42: 480). From observations of nuclear phenomena in this fungus, it was concluded that the fungus could propagate a heterokaryon indefinitely. Fenne was reappointed to serve on the Extension Committee of A.P.S. for 1952; he was the only V.P.I. person on an A.P.S. committee (Ibid. 42:224).
At the annual meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, W. L. Howe and Miller reported on the systemic control of thrips and leafhoppers (Va. J. Sci. 3:279). These insects cause feeding injuries that are confused with symptoms of pathogenic origin. Systox at 16 or 32 ml/l controlled both insects but was phytotoxic at these levels. Nugent was secretary of the Agricultural Section at this meeting.
Several items related to plant pathology in Virginia appeared in the 1952 Plant Disease Reporter. Jenkins reported on early season diseases of tobacco in southside Virginia (Plant Dis. Reptr. 36:278). Blue mold was scarce in 1952; anthracnose, first noted in 1944, incited enough damage to cause a 6-acre field to be replanted. Dry weather inhibited the development of several common diseases; however, it favored the development of charcoal rot in plants treated with mineral oil for sucker control (Ibid. 36:368-369). Jenkins also noted a first-time occurrence of fusarium wilt in the flue-cured area (Ibid. 36:391). It was associated with root knot damage in Pittsylvania Co.
Fenne and Roane reported a wide-spread occurrence of soil-borne wheat mosaic in Buckingham, Essex, Richmond, and Westmoreland Cos. (Ibid. 36:212). This disease had been reported only from Arlington Farm, the former U.S.D.A. experimental farm and now the site of the Pentagon. The outbreak was coupled with the introduction of 'Atlas 50' and 'Atlas 66' wheats which display striking symptoms of the disease. Mild symptoms were also observed on 'Thorne' and 'Vahart' wheats. No doubt the virus had long been present but mild symptoms on previously grown varieties did not allow for diagnosis.
Roane and T. M. Starling, small grains breeder in Agronomy Department reported that 'Oldambster' barley was resistant to scald caused by Rhynchosporium secalis (Ibid. 36:312). Roane was a cooperator with R. W. Leukel, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, on oats seed treatment experiments for smut control in 1952 (Ibid. 36:428-433). Helen S. Sherwin, U.S.D.A., reported target spot of soybean (Corynespora cassiicola) at the Truck Station, the northernmost occurrence of this disease through 1952 (Ibid. 36:491). Fenne reported a severe virus disease of Ladino clover in Hanover and Henrico Cos. (Ibid. 36:491). Paul Miller and G. F. Gravatt reported on a new disease killing sweet gum trees in the Southeast, including Virginia (Ibid. 36:247-252). M. E. Fowler reported oak wilt was found in Virginia in 1951 for the first time (Ibid. 36:162-165; also Va. Ext. Ser. Cir. 621, 1954). Jenkins called attention to a root rot complex in tobacco seed beds treated with calcium cyanamide (Ibid. 36:254).
In his annual report for 1952, Fenne stated that plant clinics were held at various locations for the first time; these were well attended. He also stated that root knot nematodes had become so serious that fumigation with DD and Dowfume (bromine products) was being practiced in gardens and tobacco. However, although Miller had shown that these products also protect peanuts from sting nematode damage, because of dangerous bromine levels in hay and nuts, these products could not be recommended.
Fenne prepared the only Southern Planter article from Virginia. He wrote comprehensively on, "How to control tobacco diseases" [Sou. Planter 113 (10):6, 18-19]. This article was aimed at the control of soil-borne diseases. It also pointed out how dry weather had made diagnosis of these disease difficult.
The American Tobacco Company continued its full-page advertisements on tobacco production; No. 4 was, "The story of the fight against blue mold" [Sou. Planter 113 (1):7]; No. 6 described "Root-knot and root-rot...twin threats to tobacco" [Ibid. (3):11]; No. 10 explained, "Tobacco breeding defeats disease" [Ibid. (7):9]. The wild sources of resistance to five diseases were listed:
- Nicotiana debneyi - resistance to blue mold and black root rot.
- N. longiflora - resistance to wildfire.
- N. megalosiphon - resistance to root knot.
- N. glutinosa - resistance to mosaic.
- N. plumbaginifolia - resistance to black shank.
No. 11 admonished growers to, "Choose tobacco varieties to suit soil and climate", especially where soil-borne pathogens were present; [Ibid. (8):11]; No. 12 told how, "Flue-cured growers profit from tobacco extension work" [Ibid. (9):4]; No. 13 described how "crop rotation systems reduce tobacco diseases" with emphasis on root knot, black shank, Granville wilt and fusarium wilt [Ibid (10):11]; No. 15 addressed, "Seeding and fertilizing tobacco plant beds" [Ibid. (12):6].
All pages were well written and illustrated. Collectively they provided a short course in tobacco production and disease control. Much of the information transmitted had been generated by V.P.I. pathologists.
There were no personnel changes in 1953 but Miller and Roane were awarded Ph.D. degrees by the University of Minnesota as was Mullin at the Truck Station.
There were changes in the course offerings and the Department was authorized to offer M. S. degrees. Plant Physiology, PPP 301, was changed to 3 lectures (from 2), 6 laboratory hours (from 3) and 5 credits (from 3) for Agronomy and Horticulture majors. The Forestry-Wildlife majors were offered only 3 laboratory hours. Plant Pathology, PPP 303, was reduced to a spring quarter course of 3 lectures, 6 laboratory, 5 credits (down from 7 credits in two quarters). PPP 401, Applied Mycology; PPP 501, Diseases of Agronomic Crops; and PPP 502, Diseases of Horticultural crops were deleted from the catalogue. PPP 302, Forest Pathology was changed to PPP 304, 3 lectures (from 2), 3 laboratory hours, 4 credits (from 3). PPP 600, Directed Study (hours and credits arrange, content subject to approval of the Graduate Committee) was added. Carlos Pineda, a graduate student in Agronomy and long-time employee of FAO in Rome and with whom the writer remains in contact, was in PPP 303.
No V.P.I. pathologists participated actively in the 1953 annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society. Fenne continue as a member of the Extension Committee but did not attend the meeting.
At the January 1953 annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, Groves chaired a panel discussion on, "Research and development of the Virginia spray program [Va. Fruit 41 (2):109-113]. Groves outlined the principles involved in development of spray programs and pointed out that only in the last decade had any new materials (organic pesticides) become available. Cleaner fruit with better finish and quality can be produced in 1953 than was possible a decade ago. A. H. Teske, Extension Horticulturist followed Groves with a discussion of the spray schedule (Ibid. 113-114).
Hurt, who had not published for several years, explained the, "Prevention of excessive foaming of concentrated spray mixtures" [Ibid. 41 (5):33-34], and wrote about, "Peach brown rot and its control" (Ibid. 35-36). In the first paper, newer wetting agents were blamed for excessive foaming. This may be countered by adding octyl alcohol or di-isobutyl carbinol at the rate of two ounces/100 gal. of spray. Destruction of old fruit, liquid lime-sulfur for the pink-bud application and Phygon at the full bloom application reduced brown rot of ripening fruit. Sulfur cover and preharvest sprays were also necessary.
Groves published a discussion of, "New fungicides for control of fruit diseases" [Ibid. 41 (6):40-46] in which he described the advantages and limitations of old and new fungicides. The new fungicides were captan, Crag-341 Fruit Fungicide, ferbam, phenyl mercury fungicides, and zineb. These new fungicides have not totally replaced Bordeaux mixture and sulfur fungicides.
There was only one research paper published by the faculty in 1953. Jenkins, D. G. Sharp, and F. A. Wolf (of Duke Univ.) described "A strain of tobacco mosaic virus inducing systemic necrosis in flue-cured tobacco" (J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 69:161-169). The strain was found to be similar to the Plantago strain originally described by Holmes and others.
Wingard and Groves were selected to prepare chapters for "Plant Diseases, the Yearbook of Agriculture, 1953"; this was one of a series of yearbooks published by the U.S.D.A. on special agricultural topics. Wingard's chapter was "The nature of resistance to disease" (pp.165-173). In many respects, this article is a paraphrasing of Wingard's 1941 article in the Botanical Review. It provides explanations in lay language of some of the intricacies of resistance. Once again, the article was a demonstration of Wingard's ability as a lucid writer.
Grove's article, "Sooty blotch and fly speck" (pp. 663-666) addressed two diseases he had been studying and attempting to find better fungicides to control them. He gave detailed accounts of their cycles and pointed out that organic fungicides would control either disease, but not both whereas Bordeaux mixture would control both.
In the "Agricultural Research Report of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, July 1, 1950 - June 30, 1953", brief accounts of Experiment Station projects are included. Among the reports involving plant pathologists were the release of corn hybrid varieties V.P.I. 645, - 802, and -900W (Genter and Roane, P.34), progress in breeding disease-resistant small grains (Starling and Roane, pp. 42-44), tests of fungicides for control of wheat bunt and oats smuts (Roane, pp. 45-46), the diagnosis and control of soil-borne wheat mosaic (Roane, p. 46), control of alfalfa stem nematode (Henderson et al., p. 48), control of peach brown rot (Hurt, pp. 85-86), study of spray material compatibilities (Groves et al., pp. 86-89), control of peanut nematodes with ethylene dibromide (Miller, pp. 100-101), testing new seed treatment products for peanut (Miller, p. 102), improving disease resistance in tobacco (Henderson and Jenkins, pp. 110-112), discoveries of two new tobacco diseases (Jenkins, pp. 112-114), control of diseases and management of tobacco seedbeds (Jenkins, pp. 114-116), breeding disease-resistant burley and dark-fired tobacco for disease resistance (Jenkins and Henderson, pp. 119-121), and control of late blight with old and new fungicides (Wingard and Henderson, pp. 128-129). No break- through discoveries were reported, only steady increments of success.
Fenne revised Extension Bulletin 152, "Important Tobacco Diseases in Virginia and Their Control". New varieties and new chemicals were mentioned. Soil fumigation with bromides for weed and disease control was included for the first time. He also published an article, "Tobacco blue mold control" [Sou. Planter 114 (2):20, 43] in a continuing effort to prevent this destructive disease from causing a catastrophe. Ferbam and zineb dusts or sprays were the only products recommended. The American Tobacco Co. advertisement no. 20 plugged plant clinics under the title "Diagnosing plant diseases helps flue-cured growers" [Ibid. 114 (5):13]. It pictured C. J. Nusbaum, Plant Pathologist at N. C. State University and cultures of four tobacco pathogens.
There were no reports of new diseases in Virginia in 1953 Plant Disease Reporter. However, there was a report of tomato collar rot causing 10-75% destruction on various farms (Va. Dept. Agriculture and Immigration Bul. 526). This disease was traced to one grower- distributor. The Tomato Plant Quarantine Commission had enforced an 8-county quarantine to prevent the importation of diseased seedlings from the South (Ibid. 522). Thus, 1953 seems to have been a ho-hum year in Virginia plant pathology; 1954 promises to be different.
Two new positions were established for research in plant pathology in 1954. Albert S. Williams was appointed Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, July 1, to work on diseases of forage crops at Blacksburg. Wirt H. Wills was appointed Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology, June 1, to study effects of environment on fungus diseases and effects of physical factors on injury to tobacco. Wills would work at Chatham.
There were no changes in courses offered for the 1954-55 session.
At the January 25-27 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, both Hurt and Groves contributed papers. Hurt spoke on, "The effects of cultural and pruning practices on the control of peach diseases" [Va. Fruit 42 (2):112-113]. He reported that clean cultivation and thorough pruning helped control brown rot but had no effect on peach leaf curl, scab, and bacterial spot. Groves spoke on, "Problems in cherry disease control and slants on stock for new plantings" [Ibid. 42 (2):120-123]. Cherry leaf spot and brown rot were listed as diseases that could be controlled with, sulfur, ferbam, captan or glyodin sprays. He listed yellows and necrotic ring spot as virus diseases that had to be controlled by planting virus-free nursery stock. So far as the writer could find, there were no technical journal or bulletin publications issued by the staff. Hurt submitted a brief article on, "Peach leaf curl and its control" [Va. Fruit 42 (3):36-40]. He described the disease cycle and listed the alternatives to its control. Control may be obtained up to the pink bud with lime-sulfur as a dormant spray, and with Bordeaux mixture or Phygon applied later.
On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel blew over thousands of apple trees in the eastern Piedmont. In addition to the loss of 'Winesap' and 'Delicious' fruit that was blown off, trees were damaged both east and west of the Blue Ridge. This would result in future problems for pathologist due to fungi which would colonize damaged trees [Va. Fruit 42 (10):4, 6, 8]. An Extension Service Circular (No. 621) was issued in 1954, stating that a single oak tree infected with the oak wilt fungus had been found in 1951 in Augusta. In 1953, additional infected trees had been found in Augusta, Bath, Highland, Warren and Wise Cos. This had been a fearsome discovery and it was expected that oaks would go the way of chestnuts. It hasn't happened.
Fenne published a new bulletin, "Nematode Control in Tobacco" (Va. Agri. Ext. Service Bul. 215) in which he illustrated nematodes, root knot, lesion nematode damage, and implements for applying nematicides. He described the symptoms of nematode damage, rotations, and cultural and fumigation procedures for lessening damage and reducing losses.
Jenkins reported on, "Outbreak of Pythium rot in newly set flue-cured tobacco in Virginia" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 38:421), which he attributed to cool, wet weather following the transplanting period. Species identified were Pythium debaryanum, P. aphanidermatum, and P. arrhenomanes.
Roane was co-author of two articles on wheat soil-borne mosaic. In "Observations on wheat mosaic in Virginia" (C. W. Roane, T. M. Starling, and H. H. McKinney, Pl. Dis. Reptr. 38:14-18), it was reported that the disease had occurred on the Arlington Farm (U.S.D.A. Research Farm, now site of the Pentagon) from 1925 to 1941. It was rediscovered in 1952 in several Coastal Plain and Piedmont Cos. as a result of the introduction of two highly susceptible varieties, 'Atlas 50' and 'Atlas 66'. In experiments conducted on the W. D. Edwards Farm in Westmoreland Co. near Lyells, effects on yield of grain and evaluation of breeding lines convinced us that the development of mosaic resistant lines was a necessity. Furthermore, in our tests comparing reactions of lines and cultivars at Statesville, N.C. and Westmoreland Co., some lines and cultivars were severely mottled and stunted in Virginia but not in North Carolina (J. G. Moseman, H. H. McKinney, and C. W. Roane. Reaction of wheat varieties and selections to the soil-borne viruses in Southeastern United States, Ibid. 38:19-24). It would be fifteen years later that the Edwards Farm would be found to be infested with both wheat soil-borne mosaic virus and wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (S. A. Tolin and C. W. Roane. Identification of wheat viruses in Virginia, Ibid. 53:751-752, 1969). Apparently the spindle streak virus was absent from the Statesville site in 1954, but we could not verify this because the Statesville site had been destroyed for an interchange on I-40. As a result of our studies, we found the Atlas wheats produced only 25% of their potential yield on some infested soils, so we removed them from the list of recommended cultivars and urged farmers to grow resistant cultivars on infested land. In addition, Atlas wheats were discriminated against in the market because they were intermediate to soft red wheats of the East and hard red wheats of the West. The Southern States Cooperative got caught with 300,000 bushels of Atlas seed wheat when farmers switched back to typical soft wheat cultivars. Roane got a lot of heat from Southern States which blamed him for destroying their market for high yielding (but atypical quality) Atlas wheats. It was Roane's duty to inform the agricultural community of the truth not to protect seedsmen who had made an unwise choice.
There were two first-time reports in 1954 of pathogens and diseases in Virginia by investigators who collected or had cooperative work in Virginia. J. G. Moseman (U.S.D.A., Beltsville, Md.) reported finding race 11 of Erysiphe graminis hordei (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 38:163- 166); Linford and McKinney (also U.S.D.A.) found Polymyxa graminis in roots of wheat infected with soil-borne mosaic in Virginia and other states. Although they did not name the fungus as a vector of the virus, circumstantial evidence was accumulating for that contention (Ibid. 38:711- 713). It is now known to be the vector.
Fenne reissued, "Diseases of Forage Crops" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 188). The only changes from the 1951 version were the deletion of the illustration of lightning injury to soybean and changing the cover from common leafspot of alfalfa to Stemphylium leafspot of clover and the inclusion of a section on wheat mosaic. Fenne also published, "Nematode Control in Tobacco" (Ibid. Bul. 215). Nematode disease symptoms were described and illustrated as was equipment for fumigating soil.
Fenne contributed an article to The Southern Planter on, "Control of tobacco blue mold" [The Sou. Planter 115 (3):24-25]. The fungicides recommended were ferbam and zineb. This article was similar to all previous ones by Fenne on this subject. It was a springtime ritual and rightfully so, because even though growers were annually reminded via radio, newspapers, magazines, meetings and circulars, there were heavy losses to blue mold on farms where growers gambled that weather would not favor blue mold. They lost.
The American Tobacco Co. continued its advertisements featuring the culture of tobacco. Those stressing plant diseases were No. 29, "Controlling nematodes in flue-cured tobacco" [Sou. Planter 115 (2):11]; No. 30, "Soil fumigation may help flue-cured growers" [Ibid. 115 (3):11], also targeted nematodes; No. 32, "Chemicals can protect flue-cured tobacco" [Ibid. 115 (5):6]; The two advertisements No.36, "Take care of plant beds for finer flue-cured tobacco" [Ibid. 115 (9):9]; and No. 37, "Rotate crops for protection against soil-borne tobacco diseases" [Ibid. 115 (10):13], had root knot, Granville wilt, and black shank as the target diseases. Much of the information provided was generated by Virginia's researchers.
During the year, Miller read papers on the parasitism of Cercospora arachidicola and C. personata (Va. J. Sci. 5:239) and with Rodney Young and R. W. Engel (Biochemistry Dept., V.P.I.) on the bromide content of peanuts that had been fumigated for nematode control (Ibid. 5:241). Peanut hay and hulls were high in bromide but nuts were free of it. Fenne, in his annual report, cited the first occurrence of black shank in the southwestern counties, in this case Lee. This would be the beginning of a new problem for burley tobacco growers. He also announced that streptomycin would become available for control of bacterial diseases and that in experiments it had been demonstrated to control wildfire and angular leaf spot of tobacco in seedbeds. In 1954, the General Assembly appropriated funds for construction of the Tobacco Disease Research Station. To be constructed were a laboratory, greenhouse, and office building; a cinder block barn; a machine shed; a frame pack barn; an one-family brick dwelling; and two tobacco curing barns. These structures were erected in the period 1954-1957 (H. N. Young. The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, 1886-1966. Univ. Va. Press, Charlottesville. 1975. pp. 36-37).
At the Virginia Truck Experiment Station, T. J. Nugent, H. T. Cook, and L. L. Harter summarized the, "Relative Importance of Control Measures for Scurf of Sweet Potato" (Va. Truck Expt. Sta. Bul. 113). They reported that treatments with chemicals never satisfactorily controlled scurf although some reduced the incidence of it. Some chemicals actually increased scurf. Cutting sprouts one inch above the bedding was the most successful means of reducing scurf. At the time the bulletin was published, Cook was in the Marketing Division of U.S.D.A. and Harter who had conducted experiments at the Truck Station from its inception was dead. In 1955, the faculty grew in a way. Kenneth H. Garren was appointed Plant Pathologist, U.S.D.A., to study fungous diseases of peanut at Holland (=Suffolk); his appointment was effective February 1. On the V.P.I. faculty, he was Professor of Plant Pathology. L. I. Miller, also of Holland, was promoted to Professor.
There were no changes in the courses but we initiated a seminar involving faculty in which we reviewed physiology of plant diseases. Hale spearheaded this effort. W. W. Osborne was the first student to enroll in the M.S. program which was authorized to begin in 1955.
No Experiment Station bulletins were published by faculty of the Department but there were several papers read at meetings and several semi-technical publications. Henderson and Williams reported that the insecticides aldrin and parathion disked into soil infested with Ditylenchus dipsaci (stem nematode) controlled nematode damage to alfalfa (Phytopathology 45:348). Fenne summarized the, 'Alfalfa disease survey in Virginia of April 20, 21, and 26' for mostly Piedmont Cos. Stem nematode infestations were found in Halifax, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edwards Cos. Other common diseases were observed (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 39:520). Roane and Fenne reported several new plant disease records for Virginia in 1955 (Ibid. 39:695-696). Speck rot of potato (Stysanus stemonitis) occurred in tubers from a garden in Page Co. Downy mildew (Sclerospora macrospora) occurred on barley, oats, and wheat from a mixed stand in Henrico Co. Yellow leaf blister (Taphrina populina) of Lombardy poplar occurred in Montgomery Co. Needle rust of loblolly pine was collected in Augusta Co. Wheat soil-borne mosaic occurred on rye in Accomac Co.
Some out-of-state people reported new records for Virginia. Q. L. Holdeman of South Carolina listed Greensville, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Southampton, Surry and Sussex as counties having sting nematode-infested soils (Belonolaimus gracilis) and peanut, cotton, corn, and soybean as crops being damaged. The information was supplied by Miller (Ibid. 39:5-8). John A. Stevenson reported cankers of Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica) on specimens from Richmond city (Ibid. 39:597).
At the May meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, D. L. Hallock, Soil Scientist at Holland, and Miller reported on crop response to various rotations involving peanut (Va. J. Sci. 6:230); J. W. Midyette, Jr. (Va. Dept. of Agri. & Imm.) reported a high correlation between the percent of chipped or cracked pericarps covering embryos and mercury-treated seed wheat stored at high temperatures (Ibid.); Miller reported on control of sting nematode damage with a mixture of ethylene dibromide and vermiculite (Ibid. 6:235).
Fenne prepared several Extension Service publications. He distributed, "Diseases and Insects of Cucumbers, Melons, Squash, etc" (M.R. 212); "How to Control Fire Blight (Cir. 643); and "Crown and Stem Rot of Alfalfa and Clover (Cir. 660). In the fire blight circular streptomycin was recommended for the first time. The editor of Virginia Fruit also addressed this subject [Va. Fruit 43(3):16; see below]. There was a letter to County Agents in February explaining the use of streptomycin for control of wildfire. Fenne also paraphrased his letter to burley area agents in a Southern Planter article, "New way to control wildfire on tobacco" [Sou. Planter 116 (3):66]. Thus, in 1955 antibiotics were being marketed for control of bacterial diseases for the first time. Fenne also initiated a monthly Plant Disease Newsletter which later evolved into the Plant Protection Newsletter covering diseases, insects, and weeds.
At the January 24-26, 1955 annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, Groves moderated a symposium on, "The influence of spray treatments on apple set and yield". Scientists from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were on the program [Va. Fruit 43 (2):133-139]. It was pointed out that there can be a reduction in fruit set caused by sulfurs and Bordeaux mixture, that lime-sulfur interfered with bud formation and thus affected growth the following year, that sulfur caused a reduction in fruit size, and that captan produced the greatest average return per acre. Preliminary to this symposium, Groves and C. H. Hill, Entomologist at Winchester, had published in January a discussion of three completely different spray schedules and tables comparing the cost of the captan, glyodin-mercury, and sulfur-ferbam schedules [Va. Fruit 43 (1):26-34]. These were $21.41, $18.11, and $15.70, respectively. This was followed by a paper from M. L. Bobb, Entomologist at Charlottesville, and Hurt on, "The 1955 peach spray program" [Ibid. 43 (1):36-38]. They discussed two schedules, one for Tidewater areas and one for the Piedmont-Valley areas. The latter was simply an abbreviated schedule of the Tidewater schedule. It was pointed out that captan led to the build-up of mites.
Groves also discussed, "Pest control for plums" [Ibid. 43(2):128-130]; brown rot, black knot, leaf spot and bacteriosis were primary targets. He pointed out that the program was similar to that for peaches.
Bobb and Hurt published a follow-up on the, "Cost of 1955 spray programs" [Ibid. 43 (3):34-35]. For the Piedmont-Valley programs, costs per 100 gallons of spray were projected at $16.03 for captan; $14.06 for sulfur-Phygon- captan; $10.06 for sulfur-Phygon; and $8.16 for sulfur.
The editor of Virginia Fruit cited work by R. N. Goodman of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station in an item, "Antibiotics and fireblight" [Ibid. 43 (3):16], which suggested that streptomycin would probably be used in future spray schedules. The products tested were Agrimycin, Phytomycin, and Agri-Strep. (Could these products give hope for the restoration of the pear industry in Virginia?).
The U. S. Congress passed legislation in 1954 amending the Food and Drug Act of 1938 such that the quantity of pesticide residues on raw fruits and vegetables would be limited. The legislation is known as the Miller Amendment. A. H. Teske, V.P.I. Extension Horticulturist, described its impact on fruit growers and provided a table of tolerances for apples, pears, peaches, and cherries. The law went into effect July 22, 1955 [Va. Fruit 43 (7): 36-38]. Teske explained how to keep residues within the tolerances allowed.
Not all progress in plant pathology was reported in publications. Henderson and other tobacco workers released the flue-cured tobacco variety 'Virginia 21' which was resistant to black root rot. Genter (Agronomist) and Roane released corn hybrid V.P.I. 646 which was stalk rot and leaf blight resistant. This was the first of a series of hybrids that would greatly improve the standing ability, disease resistance, and quality of corn.
Miller and Williams participated in a nematode workshop at Auburn University and Miller attended one at Raleigh. Miller would become an expert on peanut-damaging nematodes. Root knot and sting nematodes would be his specialty. Williams, as a result of his work with the stem nematode, foresaw the need to improve his competency in nematology. In 1955, not many plant pathologists were trained in nematology.
There were three appointments to new positions in 1956. Allen H. Kates was appointed Associate Extension Weed Specialist on June 1. John Amos who had served half-time on weed work and half-time on insects was appointed full-time Associate Extension Entomologist. Walter W. Osborne who had been an Assistant County Agent in the flue-cured area was appointed Associate Extension Plant Pathologist. Osborne was one of the first to earn an M.S. degree in plant pathology in the new graduate program. He completed degree requirements in May 1958. Wesley Witcher also started an M.S. program in 1956. He had been an Assistant County Agent in Charlotte and Halifax Cos. specializing in tobacco. Although in plant physiology, Maggie Ru Chih Huang under the guidance of M. G. Hale was awarded the first M.S. degree from the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology. Her thesis was entitled, "Effect of a respiratory poison and two auxins on resistance to leaf spot of corn" (M.S. Thesis, May 1956). Huang went on to earn a Ph.D. degree and to become a Professor at Johns Hopkins University. In August 1956, Mason C. Carter earned the first M.S. degree in discipline of weed science under tutorage of W. E. Chappell. His thesis was entitled "The effects carrier, formulated phytocide, and time of treatment on the reactions of certain woody plants to chemical sprays" (M.S. Thesis, Aug. 1956). Carter earned a Ph.D. degree and later became Dean of Agriculture at Louisiana State University. Charles R. Drake was appointed Plant Pathologist in a new U.S.D.A. project to study diseases of birdsfoot trefoil. There was a great deal of emphasis on introducing new forage crops into Virginia and birdsfoot trefoil was the prime candidate. Drake would cooperate with John D. Miller, U.S.D.A. Agronomist on the project. Drake would also be Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology. W. A. Jenkins of the Chatham Station resigned May 31 for health reasons. On June 11 he died of cancer (Research Report of the Va. Agri. Expt. Sta., July 1, 1953 to June 30, 1957, p.7).
In the instruction program, A. S. Williams relieved Roane of teaching Plant Pathology, the introductory course; Roane then initiated Pl.P.P. 501, Diseases of Field Crops (3H, 3L, C, I). At first, Williams was unhappy with this new duty but grew to enjoy teaching and later was reluctant to give up this course. Pl.PP 511-521, Seminar was listed in the catalogue for the first time. S. A. Wingard was on the College Resolutions Committee, the first University-wide assignment to the Department since Fromme's departure.
In an early publication in 1956 by Groves, "Antibiotics and the possible development of an eastern pear industry" [Va. Fruit 44 (1):38-40], it was pointed out that limited experiments have been conducted with apple and none with pear. Blossom blight of apple is controlled with streptomycin and it is anticipated that blossom blight of pear would also be controlled. However, it is uncertain whether the twig blight phase to which pear is more susceptible than apple could be controlled. Therefore, until successful tests with pear could be conducted, Groves made no rash predictions.
At the annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, Groves spoke on, "Dwarf tree performance to-date at the Winchester fruit research laboratory [Va. Fruit 44 (2):72- 73]. The Clark dwarfs of 'Stayman' planted in 1954 showed a steady decline in 1955 and by late summer many had died. Groves thought a masked virus introduced from 'Virginia Crab' during grafting was the source of the problem. Trees of 5 other varieties planted in 1954 remained healthy.
Groves and C. H. Hill, Entomologist at Winchester discussed, "Complications that arise from schedule modifications: Apples "[Ibid. 44 (2):110-113]. Their topics included omission of sprays, substitution of materials, changes in dosages and timing, and use of non-recommended combinations. They noted the weather may sometimes force modifications. M. L. Bobb, Entomologist at Charlottesville and Hurt discussed the same topic for peaches [Ibid. 44 (2) 113- 115. Their discussion was similar but they emphasized that anything that led to excessive residues could result in penalties under the Miller Amendment.
"The Miller Bill" was carefully explained in an article by the editor of Virginia Fruit using information prepared by L. S. Hitchner of the National Agricultural Chemicals Association [Ibid 44 (3):21-24]. Industry is required to show that tolerance levels established when a product is used according to label instructions shall not be exceeded. The article described the five categories of residue tolerance established by the Food and Drug Administration: Exemption from the law (sulfur), no tolerance (2,4-D on small grains), exemption from tolerance (pyrethrum), tolerance level not to be exceeded (DDT), zero tolerance (mercury). The onus is upon the manufacturer and the grower to conform to the law. The Miller Amendment drastically changed the industry and usage of pesticides. It made development of new products much more expensive but it is of great benefit to the consumer.
Hurt contributed an article, "Peach bacterial spot (bacteriosis)" [Ibid. 44 (3):36-38]. Shot- hole of leaves and cracking of fruit are the primary symptoms of bacteriosis. A zinc-lime spray was recommended for control; Hurt did not mention antibiotics. In another article, "Constriction canker of peaches" [Ibid. 44 (3):44-46], Hurt described this relatively new disease as being adapted to Seaboard counties, much like bacteriosis. He emphasized punctual pruning and sanitation procedures. Spraying with ferbam or dichlone reduced but did not eliminate the disease.
There was more on the Miller Amendment in a reprint of an article from N.A.C. News, "Growers have nothing to worry about from the Miller Pesticide Amendment," by W. B. Rankin [Va. Fruit 44(4):44-48]. When a statement of tolerance is issued by the Federal Government, it means (1) that residues up to the tolerance level are safe, (2) the pesticide can be used in agriculture without leaving excessive residues, (3) if used properly according to the label, residues will be within the permitted level. From the grower's standpoint (1) food can be produced without hazard to the consumer, (2) growers will not be in violation if they follow directions on approved labels, (3) carelessness leading to excesses will not be tolerated, (4) deviation from label instructions should occur only if tolerances can be met, (5) use sprays only on crops specified, in amounts and at times specified. Thus, having an approved label became the prime necessity of manufacturers. The Miller Amendment was landmark legislation for U.S. agriculture. The Virginia State Horticultural Society took the initiative to keep its members informed. Many scare tactics surfaced to confuse the consuming public. Even though our food is safer and of higher quality than in pre-Miller days, many factions attempted to sabotage the use of any chemicals [ex. Va. Fruit 44(10):10-12]. Organically grown foods had taken a place in the market.
Hurt contributed another article on, "Fall spraying for peach leaf curl control" [Va. Fruit 44(11):32-34]. He recommended the use of Bordeaux mixture, dinitro compounds, ferbam, or dichlone in the fall after defoliation. He also advised grower's to clean out sprayers as all these compounds are corrosive to idle equipment.
No one from Virginia read a paper at the 1955 meetings of the American Phytopathological Society. However, A. B. Groves was appointed an Associate Editor of Phytopathology for the period 1956-1958. Groves thus became the first Virginian to serve on a Society wide editorial committee since the days of Fromme and Schneiderhan, a span of more than 25 years.
The 1956 meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held December 5-8. Reports and abstracts appeared in 1957. Miller was junior author of a paper on radicle injury to peanut seeds with N.C. Teter, U.S.D.A. Agricultural Engineer at the Tidewater Research Station (Phytopathology 47:34). Roane was a junior author on a paper with D. M. Stewart, W. Q. Loegering, and B. J. Roberts, all U.S.D.A. cereal rust pathologists. They reported on finding a subrace of the oat stem rust fungus with a factor for virulence on 'Saia', a variety that had remained resistant to all stem rust collections from North America. The rust had been collected by Roane in a barberry-cereal nursery in the creek bottom about 200 yards south of the junction of S. Main Street and Ellett Road.
Only T. J. Nugent of the Truck Station read a paper at the May 1956 meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science. With R. N. Hofmaster, Entomologist as co-author, he spoke on, "Bean seed treatment trials in Eastern Virginia" (Va. J. Sci. 7:258, 1956). There was no response by snap bean but lima bean germinated better as a result of treatment.
The last Virginia Truck Experiment Station bulletin was published in 1956. Thereafter, information for growers appeared in a newsletter format. Nugent and R. S. Mullin prepared a section on diseases and their control in, "Commercial Strawberry Production in Eastern Virginia" (V.T.E.S. Bul. 115).
A research report on results of 1955 small grains tests was prepared by J. L. Tramel, Jr., T. M. Starling (Agronomists) and Roane (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 2, Mar. 1956). Descriptions of recommended varieties included disease reactions as determined over several years of observation and tables of disease ratings in 1955 for wheat and barley. Although disease ratings were obtained for hybrid corn varieties the Agronomists preparing reports did not include disease ratings. This was a continual source of irritation to Roane as he was hired to cooperate with the corn and small grains breeders. Cooperation with the small grains breeder was always recognized; not so with the corn breeder. However, in the summary of corn performance tests, it can be seen that 5 hybrids (V.P.I. 426, - 645, - 646, - 802, - 900 W) developed by the cooperation between C. T. Genter (Agronomist) and Roane were available to growers. These hybrids provided excellent standing ability (stalk rot resistance) and leaf blight resistance (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 3, Mar. 1956). In experiments during 1953 and 1954, W. E. Chappell, Plant Physiologist (Weed Science), and Miller found that dinetro-o-sec-butylphenol and sodium pentachlorophenate, in addition to controlling weeds, concomitantly caused some reduction in peanut leaf spot, stem rot and sting nematode symptoms, and increased yields (Chappell and Miller. The effect of certin herbicides on plant pathogens. Pl. Dis. Reptr. 40:52-56). This work would be a springboard for Garren in his efforts to reduce the incidence of peanut stem rot.
Roane and P. H. Massey, Jr., Associate Horticulturist, described an outbreak of tomato late blight in a commercial plastic greenhouse at Blacksburg, Va. in 1955-56 (Ibid. 40:313). The grower had started seedlings out-of doors in September and transplanted them to plastic-covered houses about October 1. Tomato late blight is quite common in September on garden tomatoes in the Blacksburg area, and apparently, one or more seedlings had been colonized by Phytophthora infestans before being transplanted. Late blight spread rapidly in the greenhouse despite attempts to control it with fungicides. The crop was a total loss.
Nugent of the Truck Station found that the fungicide pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB) reduced potato scab and resulted in larger yields of marketable tubers (Ibid. 40:428). The soil pH was not given but it must have been high enough to allow scab to develop. Applications of 58 lbs. PCNB/ac., x 2 and x 3 gave similar results.
By now Fenne was confined to a wheel chair as multiple sclerosis had destroyed his mobility. He devoted his time to the plant clinic, especially by preparing and revising Extension Plant Pathology publications. He revised "Diseases of Small Grains" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 151). Most noteworthy change was the addition of 8 color photographs. He revised "Tobacco Diseases in Virginia" (Ibid. Bul 152). A key to identification of major tobacco diseases, a section on general control measures, and one on curing damage were added. The section on collecting and mailing specimens was deleted and the diseases were listed under sections, viz., plant-bed, leaf, stalk and root, weather and curing. It was much improved over previous editions. In December, Fenne published a, "Sprayer and Duster Manual" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 247), in which he described and illustrated these implements and explained how to use and maintain them. This was a very useful publication for gardeners. He also prepared Circular 689, "All Purpose Sprays and Dusts for the Home Flower Gardener". Zineb, ferbam, captan and sulfur were the featured fungicides. J. O. Rowell, Entomologist, and A. S. Beecher, Horticulturist, were co- authors.
The tobacco workers released a flue-cured variety, 'Va. 21', having resistance to black root rot. Miller published an article in vol. 1 of Virginia Carolina Peanut News describing the control of the sting nematode. Miller and Williams attended the nematology workshop at Louisiana State University in order to further improve their proficiency in this field. Roane attended the 3rd International Rust Conference at Mexico City. Race 15B of the stem rust fungus was the principal subject as it had caused millions of dollars in damage to wheat and threatened to undo years of wheat breeding effort. Roane read a 4-sentence paper, alternately translated into Spanish.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration published an alert that the soybean cyst nematode had been found in northeastern North Carolina (V.D.A.&I. Bul. 560: 10- 11. 1956). Strict controls were implemented to prevent its spread. However, based upon the past history of the SCN, it would not take long to find it in Virginia.
On February 1, 1957, Joseph L. Troutman was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist to work on tobacco virus diseases at the Tobacco Disease Research Station, Chatham. Osborne, who had been appointed Assistant Extension Plant Pathologist July 1, 1956, was promoted to Associate Extension Plant Pathologist on September 1, 1957. Orvin Rud was appointed Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology to work on weed control in field crops.
Principles of Plant Disease Control (PPP 401 3H, 3C, II) was taught for the first time in the winter quarter of 1957 by Roane. Wingard continued as a member of the College Resolutions Committee. Mason C. Carter received the M.S. degree on June 9, 1957. He was the first to earn a degree in the Department's weed science program. Eventually he became Dean of Agriculture at Louisiana State University.
At the January 14-16, 1957, meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society Groves moderated a panel discussing on , "Past experience and a forward look in pest control" [Va. Fruit 45 (2):129-145]. Hurt served on the panel him. Groves pointed out that many growers request personal service and ask questions about items that are well covered and are answered in the spray bulletin. He urged all to consult the bulletin first. Then he described procedures for controlling the difficult-to-control powdery mildew. Hurt was called upon to discuss bacteriosis and constriction diseases of peach. A zinc-lime spray program was outlined for bacteriosis and glyodin was reported as the first organic fungicide to be compatible with zinc-lime. Hurt commented that the constriction disease was so damaging, difficult and expensive to control on 'Golden Jubilee' in Tidewater, Virginia that growers were pulling the trees out of their orchards. As Hurt said, "After all you are in the Peach Industry to make some money and if it is going to cost more to spray than the peaches are worth then the growers feel that they would just as soon do without this variety" [Ibid. 45 (2):134]. Apparently this disease, incited by Phomopsis amygdali, caused the virtual disappearance of Golden Jubilee from New Jersey southward, (E. I. Zehr. 1995. Constriction canker in Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases. Amer. Phytopathol. Soc. Press. pp. 31-32).
Howard Rollins, Extension Horticulturist spoke on, "The 1957 spray program". He reiterated Groves recommendations for apple powdery mildew that 1 1/2 lbs of sulfur be added to all the early season sprays. Karathane or Mildex should be added for later cover sprays. [Va. Fruit 45 (2):144-145]. Later in the year Rollins urged growers to use specific sprays for diseases that had been problems in 1957 [Ibid. 45 (4):32; (6):40-41; (7):27].
Hurt contributed two additional articles to Virginia Fruit on peach diseases. In, "Peach scab and its control", he described the disease cycle and pointed out that since mild fungicides had been introduced for brown rot and leaf curl, scab had become more prevalent. However, he insisted that if the schedule outlined in the Virginia Spray Bulletin were followed, scab would be controlled [Ibid 45(5):42-44]. In, "Peach leaf curl control in the fall", Hurt stated that liquid lime- sulfur, Bordeaux mixture, ferbam or phygon would effectively control curl if the materials were applied after leaf fall, usually November 15 to early December [Ibid. 45(10):30]. Waiting until late winter or spring may mean getting delayed by an unfavorable weather sequence.
At American Phytopathological Society meetings, Groves read a paper at the Northeastern Division November 8-9, 1956 on, "Apple powdery mildew control studies" (Phytopathology 47:245). The miticide Karathane was found to give good control. At the Southern Division meeting February 4-6, 1957, Garren of the Tidewater Station reported on the, "Efficacy of certain cultural practices as control measures for stem rot of peanuts "(Ibid 47:312). Coupled with chemical weed control, throwing dirt to the plants during cultivation caused more stem rot to develop than when no dirt was thrown to the plants. This became known as non-dirting control of peanut stem rot. Fenne was a junior author of a note, "Tomato rosette caused by a virus complex" (G. R. Doering , W. C. Price, and S. B. Fenne. Phytopathology 47:310-311). It was shown that two viruses comprise the complex; namely, the tomato rosette strain of tobacco mosaic virus and the previously undescribed shoestring virus. The complex had been first detected in southwestern Virginia in 1951 (Ibid. 41:1091-1098).
Groves was in the second year as an Associate Editor of Phytopathology. It was noted in the News page (following 47:632) that he would function to disseminate the 1956 result of fungicide tests for the Temporary Advisory Committee on Collecting and Disseminating Data on New Fungicide Tests of the American Phytopathological Society (talk about brevity). There were no station bulletins published by the Department in 1957. Roane was an author of "Small Grain Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia, 1956 (J. L. Tramel, Jr., T. M. Starling, and C. W. Roane. Va. Agri. Expt Sta. Res. Rept. 5). Numerous summaries of research projects appeared in, "Research Report of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, July 1, 1953 to June 30, 1957". All plant pathology faculty contributed. Noteworthy contributions were as follows:
Williams and Henderson reported spring application of aldrin+parathion reduced stem nematode damage to alfalfa but fall applications did not (pp.57-58).
Williams found that the host range of stem nematode includes alfalfa, white Dutch clover, Ladino clover, red clover, sweet clover and lespedeza (p.59). He gave a report on this at the 9th Eastern Alfalfa Conference.
Roane and N. C. Teter (U.S.D.A. Holland Station) found Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium monili-forme and Penicillium spp. to predominate in corn during drying experiments. Exposed surfaces of cracked and broken kernels were primary sites for Aspergillus and Penicillium propagation (pp.91-92).
Roane and Starling explained mercury damage to treated wheat seeds. Damage occurred only when the pericarp had been chipped or cracked over the embryo (pp.95-97).
Miller had several articles on peanut diseases, including peanut leafspot, Sclerotium rolfsii wilt, rootknot, sting nematode stunt, and seed disinfectants (pp.102-105).
Henderson, R. D. Sears (Agronomist, Charlotte C.H.). Spasoff, J. L., LaPrade, and E. M. Matthews (Agronomist, Chatham) reported on progress in breeding root rot, mosaic, and root knot resistant flue-cured, sun-cured and dark fire-cured tobacco varieties (pp.108- 115).
Wills found antibiotics offered no advantage over ferbam or zineb for tobacco blue mold control. Hurt and Groves reviewed progress in using new fungicides for fruit disease control (pp.195-197, 205-208).
Garren and G. B. Duke (Agricultural Engineer, U.S.D.A., Holland Station) summarized the work to control peanut stem rot by the "non-dirting" procedure (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 41:424-431). They gave a history of the disease, having been first reported in the United States by McClintock of the Truck Station in 1917, and gave clues leading to the non-dirting procedure. Sclerotium rolfsii colonizes almost any crop residue so the trick was to deep plow, keep residues away from peanut stems and to control weeds with the herbicide pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB). Significant yield increases were obtained by the "non-dirting" procedure.
Williams and L. H. Taylor (Agronomist, grass breeding) found Rathay's disease of orchard grass in Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William Cos. in spring of 1957 (Ibid. 41:598). This disease, caused by Corynebacterium rathayi, had been recorded last from Oregon in 1945. A peculiar symptom is "knee-bend" at a lower internode. The bacteria cement the culm to leaf sheaths thereby preventing upward extension. In the zone of elongation at a lower node, the stem pushes to one side. In the report, the photograph was trimmed so that the bend does not show but an arrow points to it. Such are the problems of publication.
According to Fenne (Notes on Plant Diseases June 28, 1957. See p. 75, Fenne's annual report for 1957), Williams also discovered the twist disease of orchard grass (caused by Dilophospora alopecuri) in 1957. However, William did not report the discovery himself until 1964 (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 48:119). Even then he gave no records of when and where he had observed it.
Francis W. Holmes of the University of Massachusetts published a map showing the distribution of Dutch elm disease (Ibid. 41:634-635). In 1956, Norfolk Co. was the southern - most center of infestation along the Atlantic Seaboard. Even though the port of Norfolk/ Portsmouth was one of the early entry sites, the disease did not spread southward in 20 years.
Henderson, R. D. Sears (Agronomist, Charlotte C.H.) and L. Spasoff gave a paper at the Virginia Academy of Science meeting entitled, "Virginia 312, a new dark, fire-cured variety of tobacco resistant to mosaic and root rot" (Va. J. Sci. 8:267). The variety carried a gene from Nicotiana glutinosa that gave a flecking reaction to TMV. The source of root rot resistance was not named. The variety was released in 1957.
Osborne summarized his M.S. thesis work in the paper, "A greenhouse comparison of the relative phytotoxicity and nematocidal efficiency of certain chemical soil treatments on tomato" (Ibid. p.268). Satisfactory root knot control was obtained with DD, Vapam, Dorlone, and DCB60; Nemagon and Thimet were phytotoxic and VC13 did not control nematodes.
A new building was opened for the Winchester fruit research and extension group in 1957. This building was on a ten-acre property along highway U.S. 11 south of Winchester. In 1954, the staff had made an experimental apple planting on the site which had been purchased in 1949. Fenne prepared a mimeographed history of, "The Plant Pathology Extension Program in Virginia from 1923 to 1957". This has been a useful resource for preparing this history of plant pathology in Virginia. Fenne's annual reports have also been a useful reference. Among the Extension Service publications issued in 1957 were a revision of, "Diseases of Small Grain and Their Control" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 151). Although mostly a reprint of an earlier edition, Fenne added a section on cold water treatment of barley for control of loose smut.
Other Extension publications and revisions issued in 1957 included "Managing Your Tobacco Plant Bed" (Ibid Cir. 437). Like the "Information for Fruit Growers", this was revised annually for several years and was published jointly by the Plant Pathologist, Entomologist and Agronomist working with tobacco problems. Revisions of "General-Purpose Sprays and Dusts for the Home Flower Garden" (Ibid. Cir. 689) and "Timely control of Garden Diseases and Insects" (Ibid. Cir. 605) were published in 1957. New publications issued jointly by tobacco specialists were "Virginia Fire-Cured Tobacco Varieties" (Ibid. Cir. 752) and "Virginia Flue-cured Tobacco Variety Guide for 1958" (Ibid. Cir. 758). These gave descriptions of recommended varieties including disease reactions. Fenne was the author of "Control Diseases of Strawberries, Raspberries, and Grapes" (Ibid. Cir. 736). A spray calendar for each crop was included. The Virginia Department of Agriculture issued an alert for witchweed, a parasitic flowering plant that had been found in southeastern North Carolina (V.D.A.& I. Bul. 563:9. 1957). Later the V.D.A. & I. stated that counties on the Virginia - N.C. state line had been scouted for witchweed from Mecklenburg eastward (Ibid. 568:10). No witchweed was found nor has it ever been found in Virginia.
On August 1, 1958, R. H. Gruenhagen was appointed Professor of Plant Pathology with time divided between research and extension. He would work on ornamental plant diseases. He had been instrumental in developing methyl bromide as a fumigant against many soil-borne pests (Dowfume MC2 = methyl bromide + 2% chloropicrin in pressurized cans) at the Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Michigan.
W. W. Osborne, Associate Extension Plant Pathologist was granted a 2-year educational leave of absence on September 15, 1958, to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Rutgers University. He would specialize in nematology. He had just completed an M.S. degree. His thesis prepared under the guidance of Henderson was entitled, "A greenhouse and field comparison of the relative phytotoxicity and nematocidal efficacy of certain chemical soil treatments."
Wesley Witcher also completed an M.S. degree under Henderson in 1958. His thesis was entitled, "A greenhouse study of the tobacco root rot complexes." Witcher had been Assistant County Agent/Tobacco Specialist for Halifax and Charlotte Cos. He earned the Ph.D. degree at North Carolina State University and eventually became Professor of Plant Pathology at Clemson University.
Wingard continued membership on the College Resolutions Committee.
R. S. Mullin resigned from the Truck Station to accept a position at Gainesville, Florida as Extension Pathologist for ornamental plants. Had Mullin remained at the Truck Station he would have been transferred to the Station at Painter.
Both Groves and Hurt participated in panel discussions at the 1958 annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society. Groves was involved in a discussion of, "Maturity and keeping quality of apples" [Va. Fruit 46 (2):82-90]. His participation was very minimal. On the other hand, Groves moderated a panel on "The modern fruit spray programs - five years in retrospect" [Ibid. 46 (2):120-122]. The panel prepared a joint statement covering diseases, insects, and fruit finish. They pointed out how organic fungicides had taken the places of sulfur and Bordeaux mixture. Organics were more target-specific and powdery mildew cropped up in the a absence of sulfur; modifications in captan and glyodin schedules were necessary to suppress it. Streptomycin became available for fire blight control, a disease which had not been satisfactorily controlled before. Resistance to disease controlling materials had not been a problem as it had with insecticides. Specific problems were associated with production of 'York', 'Delicious', 'Rome', and 'Jonathan'. For example, York required special effort to control early rust and scab; Delicious did rot. Rome requires late season attention for good finish, whereas Jonathan being early, required attention to control mildew and early fruit spots. York did not need high quality finish but Delicious did, and so on. Thus, different varieties had different needs and therefore different production costs.
Hurt was in his milieu discussing as a panel member, "The 1958 peach spray programs" [Ibid. 46 (2):123-126]. His only topic was the constriction disease of peach to which 'Golden Jubilee' was the only highly susceptible Virginia-grown peach variety. The disease occurred only in the Tidewater area and no successful control measure had been found. This disease was discussed in the 1958 Virginia Spray Bulletin for the first time.
Howard Rollins, Extension Horticulturist discussed the, "Virginia Spray Service for 1958" [Ibid. 46(2):127-129]. He gave some interesting statistics; three million dollars a year is spent to produce Virginia's apple crop. Each bushel requires more than 20 gallons of spray. Since 1949, with the introduction of new materials and schedules, production per tree rose from 3.8 bu./tree to 5.4 bu. in 1956. In subsequent columns, "Fruit notes for (month)" Rollins hammered away at the need to control apple scab, rust, and powdery mildew [Ibid. 46 (4):32; (5):44; (6):44-46; (7):38] and peach leaf curl [Ibid. 46(11):42]. George Williams was also an Extension Fruit Horticulturist assigned to the Winchester Station. It was obvious that Rollins and Williams were filling a void in fruit extension work, namely, the lack of an extension fruit pathologist. They were also taking a burden off Groves and Hurt who because of their proximity to growers were frequently called upon to fill this need. For them, it had been politically incorrect to ignore requests from their constituents.
The annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held in Bloomington, Indiana, August 24-28. Although several pathologists from Virginia attended the meeting, none participated in the program. It was the 50th anniversary meeting of the Society and most papers were presented in a symposium format and by invitation. Generally, the old guard was in control. However, it was a good time to listen and learn.
Groves was the only Virginian active in Society affairs in 1958. He was an Associate Editor of Phytopathology and a member of the Fungicide Advisory Committee. He also read a paper, "The influence of timing and rates of usage of Karathane on the control of apple powdery mildew", (Phytopathology 48:262). Groves defined the dosage and timing necessary to control mildew on 'Rome'.
No Experiment Station bulletins were issued from the Department in 1958; however, several journal papers and a review were published. Roane and T. M. Starling, Agronomist described the "Effects of a mercury fungicide and an insecticide on germination, stand, and yield of sound and damaged seed wheat" (Phytopathology 48:219-223). It was demonstrated that seeds with exposed embryos were subject to mercury (Hg) damage but those with intact seed coats over the embryos were not. Reduction in yield was correlated with the proportion of exposed embryos in a seed lot. Factors favoring Hg injury to damaged seed were dosage of Hg, and duration of high temperature in storage after Hg treatment. Seedsmen were encouraged to have growers slow the threshing machine cylinder speeds, accept chaffier wheat and use seed cleaning equipment rather than threshing machines as cleaners. This was especially important under arid conditions when greatest damage was inflicted by threshing machines. Seedsmen were encouraged to offer premiums to growers for a low percentage of exposed embryos rather than clean wheat. They were also encouraged to delay applying Hg fungicides as long as possible and to avoid high temperature after treatment.
N. C. Teter (Agricultural Engineer, U.S.D.A., Holland Va.) and Roane published, "Molds impose limitations in grain drying", (Agri. Engineering 39:24-27). The molds encountered were Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium moniliforme, Penicillium spp., and Oospora sp. During the experiment, field corn in the Holland area was weathered by hurricanes and was moldy from the start. However, the authors were able to generate some satisfactory data for drying corn even though for 1954 and 1955 mold counts were too high even at the optimum temperature and air flow. Teter said that after the experimental drying bins had been emptied for rating the grain, everything in the building was yellow from A. flavus spores. This was before aflatoxin had been discovered and had become a no-no word. I have always been glad I was in Blacksburg when the bins at Holland were emptied.
Groves published, "Root diseases of deciduous fruit trees" (Botanical Rev. 24:25-42). This was a follow-up article to that published by J. S. Cooley on the same subject (Ibid. 12:83- 100. 1946). Groves reviewed work on fungi, nematodes, viruses and abiotic factors. Emphasis in the 12 years since Cooley's review had been upon viral and nematode problems and upon control of these diseases. He divided control practices into use of soil fumigants, use of disease-resistant or disease-free rootstocks, and modification of cropping and cultural practices. The Botanical Review was the primary outlet for review articles in plant pathology until the Annual Review of Phytopathology appeared in 1963.
The Agronomy Department issued, "Results of Barley, Oat, and Wheat Variety Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1957", (Res. Rept. no. 15, May 1958), prepared by J. L. Tramel, T. M. Starling, and C. W. Roane. Roane contributed the disease scores and disease-reaction descriptions. The disease reactions of lines being generated from cooperative Agronomy/Plant Pathology program were excellent. In most cases Virginia lines out-yielded named varieties in the tests. It was nice to be recognized as an author of the small grain reports; such was not the case with the corn test reports. However, it was more important that the Department's contribution to these programs be recognized.
Several articles were published on new or unusual disease occurrences. C. R. Drake reported on foliage blight (Rhizoctonia solani) of birdsfoot trefoil from several locations in Virginia (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 42:145-146). Groves, E. L. Wampler, and C. B. Lyon (of Rohm and Haas Co.) described experiments in Virginia and California for, "The development of an efficient schedule for the use of Karathane in the control of apple powdery mildew" (Ibid. 42:252-261). Eight ounces of Karathane per 100 gallons of spray at least every two weeks should effectively control mildew.
K. H. Garren and G. B. Duke (both U.S.D.A., Holland) described, "The effects of deep covering of organic matter and non-dirting weed control on peanut stem rot" (Ibid. 42:629-636). They defined the terms "deep covering" to mean that all surface organic matter was buried to a depth of 4 to 8 inches and "non-dirting" as cultivation without throwing soil around the base of the plants. Weed control in the plant row was facilitated by the use of DNBP (4,6-dinitro ortho secondary butyl-phenol). Bar graphs of the 3-year experiment dramatically show the advantage of the procedure wherein yield of peanuts was greatly increased and incidence of stem rot greatly reduced. While the authors made no claims about originating the procedures, they analyzed the effects of each component and devised a farm-practical program which became standard practice.
C. B. Skotland (U.S.D.A., Raleigh, N.C.) made surveys of soybean fields in the eastern Virginia-North Carolina area and found bean pod mottle virus in one field in Virginia. The exact location of the Virginia collection was not given but this is believed to be the first report of BPMV soybean in Virginia (Ibid. 42:1155-1156). Skotland found for the first time that crimson clover was also a host of this virus. Sometime later, at the Warsaw station a soybean yield trial was planted next to a field of crimson clover. All the soybean plants in the tier nearest the clover displayed symptoms of virus infection then thought to be caused by tobacco ringspot virus; however, no determination was made. The soybeans were so severely damaged that the experiment was abandoned. From subsequent observations on BPMV, it is apparent that this virus caused the damage to the soybeans in the experiment at Warsaw.
Roane and T. M. Starling published, "Miscellaneous notes on small grain diseases in Virginia", a summary of the situations in 1957 and 1958 (Ibid. 42:1268-1271). Diseases new to Virginia in 1958 were scald (Rhynchosporium secalis) on rye and sharp eye spot of barley (Rhizoctonia solani). This was the first report of sharp eye spot east of the Mississippi R. In 1957, we produced spermagonia and aecia of Puccinia hordei on star of Bethlehem foliage (Ornithogalum umbellatum) and from aeciospore inoculum we induced uredium formation on barley. Although O. umbellatum often occurs near barley infected with P. hordei, we have never found naturally infected O. umbellatum. Only Mains (1924) had reported producing aeciospores before this report.
Dutch elm disease was spreading in Virginia; F. W. Holmes of the University of Massachusetts reported only scattered pockets of destruction in Virginia through 1957 (Ibid. 42:1299-1300). Although proximal to an original point of entry at Norfolk/Portsmouth, North Carolina apparently remained free of the disease.
The soybean cyst nematode was found for the first time in Virginia in western Nansemond Co. This eventually resulted in a quarantine against the area and created great inconvenience to farmers in the infested area. Movement of soil, agricultural products (peanut hay and pods in particular) was prohibited.
Crazy top, caused by Sclerophthora macrospora, occurred on corn in Nansemond Co. (now Suffolk) in two fields (Ibid. 44:696). This was the first report of the disease on corn in Virginia.
There was intensive effort to understand the genetics of reaction to oat stem rust during the late 50's. This research was being carried out by American and Canadian federal workers at St. Paul, Minnesota and Winnepeg, Manitoba. In cooperation with W. Q. Loegering (U.S.D.A., Beltsville, Md.) and D. M. Stewart (U.S.D.A., St. Paul), Roane planted oats of known genotye and reaction to Puccinia graminis next to barberry bushes in the creek bottom between S. Main St. and Ellett Rd. in Blacksburg. The bushes were inoculated by scattering telium-bearing oat straw over the bushes. Uredia appeared on the variety 'Saia' which had until then never been observed to host P. graminis. A new race, designated Subrace 5A was isolated and characterized at St. Paul (Ibid 42:881-887). Roane had to fight with a muskrat that was dead-set on harvesting the oats before the experiment was completed. A student in wildlife management trapped a muskrat three times but the critter gnawed its leg off and escaped. The fourth time, however, he trapped a muskrat with one leg and three stubs. Why the animal was not dissuaded from raiding the oats after losing a leg, only the muskrat knew.
Fenne reported on an occurrence of stinking smut in Northern Virginia. The smut had built up in farmer-saved, untreated wheat (Ibid 42:1301-1302). There had been no serious complaints about stinking smut in Virginia since the 1920's.
The Extension Service issued several pathology related publications in 1958. Osborne, M. P. Lacy (Extension Agronomist), and K. H. Garren released information on how to "Control Stem Rot in Peanuts by Cultural Methods", (Extension Ser. MR-228). This was an explanation for farmer use of the deep-covering, non-dirting system. Fenne published "Vegetable Seed Treatment", (Extension Ser. Cir. 768), in which he described the chemical and hot water treatments available to home gardeners for most garden crops. "Managing Your Tobacco Plant Bed" (Extension Cir. 437), and "Virginia Flue-Cured Tobacco Variety Guide for 1959" (Ext. Cir. 758) were revised. For plant beds, the use of methyl bromide was encouraged as it appeared to be the most comprehensive soil treatment pesticide available. In the guide, disease reactions of each variety were described. Two Virginia-bred varieties, 'Vesta 5' and 'Virginia 21' gave very good results in regional tests.
Robert Pritou joined the Extension faculty on February 17, 1959 as Associate Professor to replace Osborne who was on educational leave. No other staff additions or changes in status at Blacksburg were noted. At the Truck Station, K. H. McDonald was hired in the position vacated by Mullin; he was stationed at Painter.
Genetics in Relation to Plant Pathology was taught for the first time by Roane. It was offered as a 2H, 2C course during the fall quarter of 1959. According to the syllabus, it would be a 3H, 3C course in 1961. Wingard continued as a member of the College Resolutions Committee. A. B. Massey, Professor of Botany, now a member of the Biology Department Faculty, retired June 30. Massey had been hired by F. D. Fromme in 1918 as Associate Bacteriologist in the Experiment Station to work on bacterial diseases of plants. Later he taught Introductory Plant Pathology in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and the Department of Biology. Although he was initially a phytobacteriologist, he became the premier botanist in Virginia and established an herbarium of about 25,000 specimens. The Massey Herbarium is a well-maintained segment of the Biology Department of V.P.I.&S.U. and the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
The annual report for the 1958 Fiftieth Anniversary meetings of the American Phytopathological Society revealed that A. B. Groves would serve as a member of Advisory Committee on Collecting and Disseminating New Fungicide Data for 1959 and he was also appointed by the Council to become coordinator of the project to publish the report for 1957. L. G. Utter, in the Committee Report praised Groves for initiating new procedures, which would increase the value of the annual publication, "Results of the Year Fungicide Tests". It was announced later that he would coordinate the sales and distribution of the, "Results of the 1958 Fungicide Tests" from his office at Winchester [Phytopathology News, end of Phytopathology 49 (9)]. This became a long-lasting publication of the Society. Groves was also a member of the Fungicide Advisory Committee for 1959. At the February 26-27, 1958 meeting of the Potomac Division of A.P.S., Groves was elected Vice-President. As such, he would act as Program Chairman for the 1959 meeting. Thus, it appears that Groves would have a busy year of service to the Society.
As a part of the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, the A.P.S. published photographs of all the charter members and presidents for whom pictures were available. A photograph of charter member H. S. Reed, our department head, 1908-1915, was not available. F. D. Fromme, our department head, 1915-1928, and A.P.S. President, 1924, was the only Virginian included (Phytopathology 49:233-248).
At the January 12-14, 1959 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, both Groves and Hurt served on panels to discuss, "New spray materials in 1959" [Va. Fruit 47 (2):137-139], and "Review of 1958 situation and changes in spray recommendations brought about by new developments in pest control" [Ibid. 47 (2):140-144]. Groves was moderator of the former. Cyprex was the only new fungicide discussed; it was characterized as both a protectant and eradicant chemical with limited systemic action. It was found to be excellent for control of apple scab and cherry leaf spot. The 1958 fruit year was characterized as being a disease-free year. Only primary but no secondary scab infections occurred. However, there was more spray injury than usual. This was attributed to low sugar content and succulence of the early season foliage. The pathologists listed only minor changes for disease control. The glyodin-mercury and sulfur-ferbam programs were changed to a glyodin-ferbam program.
C. Lyman Calahan, Extension Horticulturist of the University of Vermont, discussed experiences with, "Orchard pest control by air dusting" [Ibid. 47 (2):130-137]. Some of the points he made were:
- Scab control is equal or better than other methods.
- Excellent finishes are produced.
- Phytotoxicity is reduced.
- Labor and equipment costs are reduced.
- Water requirements are eliminated.
- There is no damage by rutting the orchard floor with machinery.
- Pruning season is extended because brush removal could be delayed.
He also noted disadvantages; namely, availability of skilled pilots, break-downs, coordinating with neighbors because of toxic drifts, insect control is more difficult than disease control. It was a good pro-con discussion.
Garren published a technical bulletin covering his work on, "The Stem Rot of Peanuts and Its Control" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 144). He gave a comprehensive review of the literature leading up to the deep covering and non-dirting procedures for reducing losses from stem rot. Although the effects of deep covering and non-dirting had been documented when Garren began his work, he provided additional data suggesting that combining the procedures with applications of herbicides for weed control would result in maximum protection from stem rot. He revolutionized and helped modernize peanut culture.
In the publication discussed above, Garren cited two papers concerning the use of herbicides. From work reported in, "An evaluation of role of dinoseb in "non-dirting" control for peanut stem rot" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 43:665-667), it was concluded that dinoseb was more valuable as an herbicide than as a fungicide in stem rot control. In a companion report, the "Effectiveness of non-dirting cultivation and soil-surface applications of PCNB in controlling peanut stem rot," was evaluated (Ibid. 43:750-752). As in the case of dinoseb, PCNB was found to have little fungicidal value when applied to the soil surface in the non-dirting treatments but had value when used in dirting treatments.
Osborne and M. P. Lacy (Extension Agronomist) publish Extension Service Cir. 825, "Control of Stem Rot in Peanuts by Cultural Methods," in which they described the procedures developed by Garren in lay-terms. This was for general distribution to peanut growers. In 1959, W. S. Hough, A. B. Groves and C. H. Hill (all at the Winchester Fruit Lab.) prepared a summary of their work with pesticide mixtures (Effects of Some Spray Mixtures on Toxicity of DDT, Parathion, and Malathion. Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 143). With each of the insecticides, they tested the toxicity toward the codling moth in orchards when they were mixed with oil emulsion, sulfur, Bordeaux mixture, ferbam, glyodin, captan, zineb, cyprex, and Rhothane, and several miticides. In mixtures, the toxicity of DDT was maintained or only slightly reduced.
Henderson compiled a report on "Performance of Tobacco Varieties and Breeding Lines Tested in Virginia in 1957" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 14. 1959). Only black shank ratings were provided. Many Virginia selections were scored higher (= better) than the resistant control variety 'Burley 11A'.
J. L. Tramel, T. M. Starling (Agronomists) and Roane published "Results of Barley, Oat, and Wheat Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1959" (V.A.E.S. Res. Rept. 32). Reactions to diseases were recorded for all crops. Soil-borne mosaic was observed in the winter oat test at Charlotte C.H., the first time it occurred in oat tests in Virginia.
Troutman reported that he could select streptomycin-resistant strains of Pseudomanas tabaci by exposing the bacteria to wells of the antibiotic on agar plates and inoculating tobacco with isolates that survived nearest the wells. In 8 streptomycin - tobacco cycles, he was able to increase resistance to streptomycin (Phytopathology 49:553). Streptomycin was used to control wildfire and angular leaf spot in seed beds. Troutman's results were an ill omen.
Three papers were contributed to the Plant Disease Reporter by the faculty in 1959. J. G. Moseman, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, and Roane collaborated on a survey of Puccinia hordei races in the United States for 1956 through 1958. Six races, 4, 16, 34, 40, 44, 45, were found. Only 4 and 16 were recorded from Virginia (P.D.R. 43:1000-1003). Troutman and Fenne recorded the occurrence of tobacco curly-top in Virginia for the first time. The causal agent was thought to be the sugar beet curly-top virus. Curly-top was found in Appomattox, Charlotte, Franklin, Lunenburg, and Pittsylvania Cos. (Ibid. 43:155-156). Teter (U.S.D.A., Holland) and Miller described the effects of seed injuries upon germination of peanut seeds (Ibid. 43:353-359). Germination percentage was not impaired by injuries to the radicle end of peanut seeds but rate of germination was imparied. Various degree of curvature resulted when damage seeds were oriented differently in the soil.
The Extension Service pathologists were particularly active in the publication arena. Fenne published a new bulletin entitled, "What You Should Know About Plant Diseases" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 261). Fenne categorized diseases by causal agents and by symptoms; it was well illustrated and fairly comprehensive. Fenne either authored or co-authored several circulars on subjects such as, "Raspberry and Blackberry Spray Calendar" (Ext. Ser. Cir. 819), "Controlling Lawn and Turfgrass Diseases" (Ibid. Cir. 802), "Timely Control of Garden Diseases and Insects" (Ibid. Cir. 605, rev.), "How to Control Fire Blight" (Ibid. Cir. 643, rev.). Fenne also issued four "Plant Disease Notes" which were to alert growers and agents what diseases to expect and how to prevent them if possible. J. M. Amos, Extension Entomologist, wrote a, "Spray Program for Grapes" (Ibid. Cir. 805) including recommendations for disease and insect control. Gruenhagen initiated the "Nurserymen's Notebook" in which he illustrated and described in single sheet publications 13 diseases of ornamental plants or problems associated with nursery materials.
The Truck Station began the monthly Vegetable Growers News (VGN) in 1946. This eventually supplanted the Station Bulletins which ended in 1956 when Bulletin 115 by Mullin and Nugent was issued. It is apparent that K. H. MacDonald was hired in 1959 to replace R. S. Mullin who resigned in 1958. MacDonald was stationed at the new site in Painter, Accomac Co. He published items in the VGN from 1959 to 1963. MacDonald's first report appeared in May 1959 and was on nematodes [VGN 14 (5):1]. He described disease research on Eastern Shore [VGN 14 (7):4], tomato wilt diseases [VGN 14 (9):4], foliage and fruit disease of tomato [VGN 14 (11):2], and pepper diseases [VGN 14 (12):2-3].
Nugent also contributed notes in 1959. He described diseases of fall snap beans [VGN 14 (1):3], progress in the development of disease-resistant muskmelons [VGN 14 (9):2], and soil rot of sweet potatoes [VGN 14 (10):2]. The Director, E. A. Borchers, described fusarium wilt of tomatoes and listed varieties resistant to it [VGN 14 (4):2].
Some pathogens reported for the first time in Virginia were oat soil-borne mosaic virus at Charlotte C.H. (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 44:696), Dothiorella quercina was found on white oak and chestnut oak in Craig and Shenandoah Cos. (Ibid. 44:351), Exosporium glomerulosum was found at Ashland on red cedar (Ibid. 44:527), and the potato Y virus infected a few tobacco plants at Blacksburg (Ibid. 47:187-188). The horsenettle cyst nematode was discovered in tobacco counties by Miller 1959. It was later described as Heterodera virginiae (and even later as Globodera tabacum virginiae).
The Experiment Station Director authorized a, "Research Report of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station for the Period July 1, 1957 to June 30, 1959." Plant pathologists contributed many reports; in order of appearance some of the contributions were:
- A. S. Williams classified alfalfa varieties for resistance to southern anthracnose (p. 53), and reported a 3 or 4 year rotation would control stem nematodes in clovers but not in alfalfa (p. 53-54).
- Drake reported birdsfoot trefoil is totally susceptible to Rhizoctonia foliage blight (p. 57-58).
- Williams found both Uromyces dactylis and Puccenia graminis on orchardgrass with P. graminis predominating (p. 60); he also demonstrated the pathogenicity of Corynebacterium raythi on orchardgrass (p. 61).
- Control of mercury damage to wheat by several methods was reported by Roane et al. (p. 90); Roane also reported on the identification of 5 loci for leaf rust-conditioning genes in barley (p. 90).
- Miller had several reports on nematodes injuring peanuts (p. 95-98). He found sting nematodes to be damaging only on fine sandy loam soils. Rootknot nematodes caused more damage because they were more widely distributed. Several nematicides were recommended for controlling peanut nematodes but hay from bromine-treated soils could not be used to feed dairy cows or other animals to be finished for slaughter.
- Henderson, LaPrade, and Spasoff described the breeding of disease-resistant tobacco varieties. Considerable progress was made in improving the quality of black-shank-resistant varieties (p.105-109).
- Troutman and LaPrade developed a procedure for selecting resistant plants and progenies for resistant to black shank. They used muffin pans and adapted them to a hydroponic, controlled temperature system (p.110-113).
- Groves reported that organic fungicides (captan, ferbam, and thiram) were superior to lime-sulfur and Bordeaux mixture and were less expensive for control of peach leaf curl (p.205- 206).
- Spasoff and Wingard reported on disease control for tomatoes. Their work involved field testing of varieties and lines and fungicidal dusts (p.219-220).
- Gruenhagen found that slow decline of boxwood was caused by a number of parasitic nematodes and that plants could be restored to health by applications of nematicides (p. 226-227).
Thus, the Research Report provided a compact summary of research progress for the two to four years prior to its publication.
Grover C. Smart, Jr. was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist July 1, 1960 to work on nematode problems in the Holland area. Smart had been a student of Gerald Thorne at the University of Wisconsin. Thus, he was the first professionally trained plant nematologist on the staff.
Lawrence Miller was honored by being presented the J. Shelton Horsley Award of the Virginia Academy of Science. His research paper which earned him the award was entitled, "The influence of soil components on the survival and development of the sting nematode" (Va. J. Sci. 11:160). Temperature, pH, and soil moisture were not limiting factors; only soil texture was limiting. Groves was elected President of the Potomac Division and would preside over the 1961 meeting. For the parent Society he would continue as a member of the Advisory Committee on Collecting and Disseminating New Fungicide Data (Ibid. 50:243). Henderson was appointed to the editorial board of Tobacco Science. He would serve for four years, 1960-1963.
The Virginia State Horticultural Society held its 1960 annual meeting at the Hotel Roanoke in January. Both Groves and Hurt were on panels to discuss research with new materials [Va. Fruit 48 (2):129-134] and new approaches to spray programs [Ibid. 48 (2):135- 138]. Groves moderated the panel on new materials; initially, he described 6 criteria for establishing test sites in commercial orchards. He summarized the comparative usefulness of different fungicides on peaches and apples. In the discussion of the new approach, it was pointed out that the spray bulletin was extensively revised but most changes were for insect control. Most articles on diseases appeared in Howard Rollin's columns on fruit notes in volume 48.
An assortment of research publications appeared in various journals. Roane had a paper on the spread of stem rust from barberry bushes and the survival of races in the spreads. This was the result of 4 years of cooperative work with E. C. Stakman, W. Q. Loegering and D. M. Stewart (all of Univ. of Minnesota and the U.S.D.A. Rust Laboratory) and W. M. Watson (Barberry Eradication Supervisor for Virginia). In the paper, it was reported that many races of Puccinia graminis were established on wheat near barberry bushes and that virulence was not co-inherited with survivability. Some races with virulence toward several differential varieties were collected near barberry bushes but not further into the wheat field. Some races with relatively menial virulence multiplied rapidly in the field (Phytopathology 50:40-44).
Only Garren published an abstract (Ibid. 50:575). At the Southern Division meeting he reported that he could garner no evidence to support the concept that runner varieties of peanuts are more resistant to stem rot than bunch types.
In the Plant Disease Reporter (P.D.R.), Drake reported birdsfoot had been damaged by Sclerotium rolfsii at the Holland station. The association had not been noted previously (P.D.R. 44:115-116). Roane described the killing of winter oats in April following heavy snowfalls during February and March. The killing was caused by Pseudomonas coronofaciens, the halo blight bacterium. Resistant and susceptible varieties were clearly recognizable in yield trials at the Orange Station (P.D.R. 44:696). Responses of varieties to halo blight in yield trials were published in Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 45, 1960. Killing of winter oats by this bacterium had not been recorded previously. Curtis May and Ross W. Davidson (U.S.D.A.) found Endothia parasitica causing cankers on live oak in Williamsburg. Live oak had not been previously found to be a host of E. parasitica (P.D.R. 44:754).
In 1960, from the Extension Project Report for plant pathology, black root rot and nematodes caused considerable losses in tobacco; scab of wheat and barley was widespread and severe; the soybean cyst nematode was found in Southampton and Isle of Wight Cos. adjacent to the area it was originally found in Nansemond Co.; and milk was reported by North Carolina workers as useful in controlling tobacco mosaic virus.
Several Extension Service publications were issued in 1960. "Disease of Forage Crops" (Ext. Ser. Bul. 188, rev.) was completely revised. Sections on diseases common to legumes, and diseases of grasses were added. Soybean diseases were deleted. Four pages of color plates made the new edition a great improvement over the 1954 edition. Circular 635, "Control Diseases for Finer Tomatoes" was upgraded with new photographs, charts, and lists of pesticides. Fenne collaborated with B. Arorian, Horticulturist) to publish, "Black Root Rot of Strawberries" (Cir. 858). In general, it was devoted to strawberry culture because the cause of black root rot was not very well understood. The fire blight control circular was revised (Cir. 643) and mimeographed Nurserymen's Notebook sheets on cedar-apple rust and maple tar spot (MR-O-14, -O-15) were issued by Gruenhagen.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration alerted farmers to treat soybeans harvested in 1959 for use as seed in 1960 with Arasan. The 1959 crop was severely weathered by hurricanes and was of poor quality. Seed treatment would be necessary if adequate stands were to be obtained (V.D.A.& I. Bul. 598:10). The Department also commented on the discovery of the soybean cyst nematode in Nansemond Co. in 1958. Miller had found a way to fumigate machinery cheaply and had been awarded $5000 to make further investigations on nematodes (V.D.A.& I. Bul. 601:3-4). Apparently, the method involved steam and compressed air but a description of it is yet to be found.
E. M. Matthews, Wybe Kroontje (Agronomist) and Henderson summarized their 3-year study on the "Effect of length of rotation on losses from black shank in flue-cured varieties" (Tob. Sci. 4:156-158). A 2-year rotation greatly reduced black shank in resistant varieties but had little effect on the incidence in susceptible varieties. A 3-year rotation virtually eliminated black shank in all varieties.
After several years of being a cooperator but being ignored in reports, Roane was recognized as a cooperator in, "1959 Virginia Corn Performance Tests" (V.A.E.S. Res. Rept. 35. 1969). Leaf blight ratings at three locations were included.
Henderson compiled, "Performance of Tobacco Varieties and Breeding Lines Tested in Virginia in 1958 and 1959" (V.A.E.S. Res. Rept. 37. 1960). M. J. Rogers, J. L. LaPrade (Chatham), Luben Spasoff (Blacksburg) and Frank McClaugherty (Glade Spring) were shown to be cooperators. Reactions to black shank were included for some tests.
T. J. Smith, P. T. Gish (Agronomists), and Williams summarized, "Varietal Tests of Sudangrass and Pearl Millet in Virginia, 1954-1959 (V.A.E.S. Res. Rept. 38. 1960). Leaf blight (caused by Helminthosporium turcicum) was the most damaging disease of Sudangrasses. No major disease occurred on pearl millets.
Tramel, Starling (Agronomists) and Roane published, "Results of Barley, Oats and Wheat Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1960" (V.A.E.S. Res. Rept. 45. 1960). Net and spot blotch became a problem in barley nurseries, halo blight damaged winter oats at all locations, leaf rust and powdery mildew caused damage to several wheat varieties.
W. H. Matheny of the Virginia Department of Agriculture reviewed the status of the soybean cyst nematode (Va. J. Sci. 11:161). From surveys it was revealed that the SCN occurred on 125 farms in Nansemond, Isle of Wight, and Southampton Cos. Rotations, pesticides, and resistant varieties could be used to contain the pest. Federal and State quarantines had been in effect since September 1, 1959, as a further measure of containment.
The faculty grew again in 1961. Samuel W. Bingham was appointed Associate Professor of Plant Physiology to work primarily on weed problems in turf and ornamentals. Cecil W. Lefevre was named Assistant Professor Plant Physiology to work on Artemisia vulgaris, an aggressive, allelopathic weed. John P. Sterrett was appointed Assistant Professor to work on weed and brush control in rights-of-way. Wyatt Osborne returned from Rutgers University where he had earned the Ph.D. degree in nematology. He would work on nematode and other types of diseases of field crops but chemical control would become his forte. With these gains, the Department also lost R. H. Hurt, long time fruit disease specialist at Charlottesville, who retired November 6.
Terry C. Davis, Jr. was third person to earn an M.S. degree in plant pathology in the 1949-1964 era. He was a Graduate Teaching Assistant from September 1959 to June 1961. His thesis was on, "Etiology and Symptomatology of Hemlock Twig Rust Caused by Melampsora farlowii". Gruenhagen was his advisor. Terry became Assistant Professor of Forest Pathology at Auburn University.
At the 1961 meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, no member of the Department was on the program. On the cover of the May issue of Virginia Fruit, Groves was pictured and it was announced that he had a heart attack in February [Va. Fruit 49 (5):2]. There were some landmark events in 1961. G. M. Shear, Plant Physiologist in the Department, J. E. Moody and J. N. Jones, Agronomist and Agricultural Engineer (U.S.D.A.), respectively, read two papers that seemed to represent routine weed control work in corn. The papers "Corn production without tillage possible through use of herbicides" (Proc. Sou. Weed. Conf. 14:116-117) and "Growing corn without tillage" [Soil Sci. Amer. Proc. 25 (6):516-517] led to a revolution in corn production. As will be seen later it also elevated gray leaf spot of corn from a minor curiosity disease to a major problem disease.
Roane and T. M. Starling, small grains breeder in the Agronomy Department, after 12 years of cooperative effort released their first varieties of oats and barley. 'James' barley was a leaf rust and powdery mildew resistant selection from a cross of Wong ? Bolivia made at the North Carolina Experiment Station. 'Roanoke', a winter oat, was selected from a complex cross with 'Arlington' as one parent. The cross was made by F. A. Coffman, oat breeder for the U.S.D.A. Arlington, which Roanoke replaced, was susceptible to the very destructive Victoria blight disease; Roanoke was resistant. Both James and Roanoke provided a several bushel yield advantage over other recommended varieties (Extension Leaflets 154, 155. 1962).
In the academic field, the Department presented a petition (dated November 1961) for permission to offer a Ph.D. program in the Department. Apparently the petition was favorably received and permission was granted before the end of the year. Work was begun to develop syllabi for new courses proposed in the petition. Again, M. G. Hale was the spark for this enterprise.
Genetics in Relation to Plant Pathology was taught as a 3-credit course for the first time. Grace P. Li was the only student among seven in the course who was majoring in plant pathology. The report for the 1960 annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was published in January 1961 (Phytopathology 51:43-64). Groves was named chairman of the New Fungicide and Nematocide Data Committee and by virtue of this chairmanship was automatically a member of the Publications Committee (Ibid 51:44). Gordon Utter, outgoing Chairman of the Fungicide, etc., Committee, praised Groves for improvements in quality and manner of distribution of the committee's publication (Ibid. 51:57-58). At the March meeting of the Potomac Division, Groves was elected Councilor after serving as President for 1960-61.
A symposium on Sclerotium rolfsii was held at the Southern Division meeting February 1-6, 1960. Garren detailed the "Control of Sclerotium rolfsii through cultural practices". Since participation in the symposium was by invitation, it was an honor for Garren to be on the panel and to have the paper published in Phytopathology (Ibid. 51:120-124). He highlighted the deep covering and non-dirting procedures for row crops as illustrated by his experiments with peanuts.
M. G. Hale, Plant Physiologist in the Department, and Roane published a paper on, "The nutrition of Helminthosporium carbonum race 1 in relation to parasitism in corn" (Ibid. 51:235- 240). Parasitism could not be correlated with any substance extracted from susceptible or resistant plants or any nutritional requirements.
Drake found that Rhizoctonia solani caused crown rot of birdsfoot trefoil at Blacksburg (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 45:572-573). An aphid-transmitted virus similar to radish yellow virus was found to be causing problems for spinach growers in Virginia and other eastern states. (Ibid. 45:720- 721). Osborne found a cyst nematode parasitizing tobacco in Amelia Co. (Ibid. 45:812-813). The nematode was tentatively assigned to Heterodera tabacum. Grover Smart found peanut rust, Puccinia arachidis, in Southampton and Nansemond Cos. on October 6. This was the first record of the disease in Virginia (Ibid. 46:65). J. C. Wells of North Carolina State College also reported its occurrence in 12 counties of his state. He stated that rust does not overwinter in North Carolina and that it occasionally blows northward from South America and the West Indies (Ibid. 46:65). Thus, it was not expected to reappear in 1962.
Among the Experiment Station publications were, "Peanut Nematode Disease Control", by Miller and G. B. Duke, Agricultural Engineer, U.S.D.A., Holland (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 520) and, "Evaluation of Forage Crop Varieties in Virginia," by P. T. Gish, T. J. Smith (Agronomists), and A. S. Williams (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 528). Miller and Duke named as nematodes to be controlled, sting, northern rootknot, peanut rootknot, and smooth-headed lesion nematodes. Fumigants listed for nematode control were ethylene dibromide (EDB), dibromochloropropane (DBCP), dichloropropene-dichloropane (DD), and dichloropropenes (D). Materials could be applied overall in the fall, or in rows or overall in the spring. Applicantion equipment was carefully described and illustrated. Precautions were emphasized for handling the materials and feeding hay from treated soils. Treatments were shown to give profitable returns. Forage crops evaluated in Bulletin 528 were alfalfa, red clover, lespedeza, Sudangrass, Sudangrass-Johnsongrass hybrids, and pearl millet. Where data were obtained, reactions to diseases were given. Leaf blight caused by Helminthosporium turcicum was the only disease of consequence on the Sudangrasses. No literature was cited in either bulletin.
Henderson was still serving the tobacco workers. He was in his second year on the Editorial Board of Tobacco Science. Wingard continued as a member of the V.P.I. Resolutions Committee.
In "Results of Barley, Oat, and Wheat Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1961" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 60. 1961), Tramel Starling, and Roane found spot and net blotch to be very damaging to barley varieties in the Blacksburg test and that greenhouse seedling tests did not correlate well with field tests for barley powdery mildew. For oats, field reactions to soil-borne oat mosaic and halo were reported for the first time. Resistance and susceptibility were clearly evident. In wheat, seedling and field reactions to powdery mildew correlated well.
Director H. N. Young authorized the publication of a triennial research report under the title "Agricultural Progress" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 57. 1961). The report was prepared by the editorial staff of the Experiment Station. Illustrations include the small grains head-row and yield-trial nurseries, damage of oats by the halo blight bacterium at Orange (Pseudomonas coronafaciens), root damage to alfalfa (Phytophthora cryptogeae), fumigation of vehicles for soybean cyst nematode control, effects of black root rot on tobacco, manipulation of Phytophthora parasitica var. Nicotiana in the laboratory (pp.11-15), post-harvest rot control in peaches, rootknot resistant tomato, and nematode control by fumigation of holly roots (pp.34- 37). Most of the research accomplishments have been recorded previously in this text. Chemical control of dollarspot in bentgrass was described. Actidione-Thiram, Dyrene, Kromad, and Ortho fungicides controlled dollarspot in 1960 and 1961 tests.
At the Virginia Academy of Science annual meeting, Grover Smart described the , culture of the soybean cyst nematode" (Va. J. Sci. 12:153). In a 90% sand, 10% kaolin clay mixture, soybeans supported populations of the SCN free of weeds and organic residues.
In Extension, Fenne published two new circulars and contributed to revision of two others. "Black Root Rot", of tobacco (Ext. Cir. 894) was precipitated by the occurrence of severe damage in 1958 and 1960 attributed to Thielaviopsis basicola. In control measures, Fenne recommend a soil pH of 5.4 to 5.6, fumigation of seed beds with methyl bromide, a three or four year rotation which emphasized cereal and grass crops between tobacco crops, and growing resistant varieties which he did not name. In, "Oak Wilt" (Ext. Cir. 621), he described the manner of transmission of the fungus, Endoconidiophora fagacearum, its distribution in Virginia and control measures. The disease was described as a dire threat to oaks but anxiety over the consequences of the disease has subsided.
The Extension staff in Plant Pathology issued, "Controlling Sting and Northern Rootknot Nematodes of Peanuts" (Ext. Ser. Cir. 879). Fumigants applied over-all (broadcast) would control sting nematodes for three years but northern rootknot for only one. Therefore, annual row treatment was recommend for rootknot control. Various rotations were suggested to ameliorate the severity of nematode damage.
Three departments contributed to the revision of, "Managing Your Tobacco Plant Bed" (Ext. Ser. Cir. 437, rev.). Use of streptomycin for control of wildfire and blackfire and fumigation of soil with methyl bromide were the latest innovations. Fenne also issued three mimeographed leaflets aimed at control of diseases in gardens. At the Truck Station, K. H. McDonald described Fusarium and Rhizoctonia root rots of beans [Veg. Growers News 15(12):4].
In 1962, the faculty was again enlarged. Claude Fordyce, Jr., was appointed Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology on July 1 after earning the Ph.D. degree at Purdue University. He would work on diseases of ornamental crops, especially woody plants.
John J. Albert was appointed Instructor of Plant Pathology at Winchester as of April 1. His appointment was necessitated by Groves' need to have an understudy after having experienced a heart attack in early 1961. Albert had earned an M.S. degree at the University of Delaware and had worked one year toward a Ph.D. degree at Pennsylvania.
Charles Drake made a lateral move from Plant Pathologist, U.S.D.A., A.R.S. to Associate Professor of Plant Pathology as a replacement for R. H. Hurt. Drake, however, would be located at Blacksburg, not Charlottesville. His appointment, like Albert's was effective April 1. (No April fools, they!). Eventually Drake became Albert's advisor for Ph.D studies. Albert was pictured on the cover of the May issue of Virginia Fruit [50 (5): cover, 2]. The Experiment Station was applauded by the State Horticultural Society for having acted promptly to Groves' needs. Drake was pictured on the cover of the August issue and there was a biographical summary of his career on p. 18 [Va. Fruit 50 (8): cover, 18].
On July 1, J. L. Troutman of the Chatham Bright Tobacco Disease Research Station was promoted to Associate Plant Pathologist. Troutman had been the primary investigator in the development of a laboratory indexing procedure for identification and selection of black shank resistant tobacco germplasm.
Grace Li completed her M.S. Degree in June. Her thesis was entitled, "Cross Protection of Rust Fungi on Barley". She was advised by Roane. Grace became a Senior Research Mycologist at the Upjohn Drug Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Donald H. Kludy, as a student of Gruenhagen, completed an M. S. degree program in September. His thesis was entitled, "Effects of Root-Knot Nematodes on Growth of Three Species of Woody Ornamental Plants". Kludy at first became a Nursery Inspector and later State Entomologist for the Virginia Department of Agriculture. He served as a Graduate Research Assistant while at V.P.I.
The 1961 annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society was held at Biloxi, Mississippi December 10-13. Several members from V.P.I. participated. Getting from Blacksburg to Biloxi was a nerve-wracking experience. We left Blacksburg on the morning of December 9; a freezing rain had glazed the highways in several places. A tractor-trailer rig had slid into the ditch and overturned near Marion; one had jack-knifed near Rogersville, Tennessee. Its tandem rear wheels had rolled several hundred feet into oncoming traffic. Nearby a truck load of hogs had overturned and caught fire killing its squealing load. At Marysville, on a narrow bridge, two cars had crashed head-on killing the several occupants in both cars. When we arrived at Chattanooga for an over-night stop, all five of us, Gruenhagen, Pristou, Troutman, Osborne and I, had some stiff drinks to quell our frayed nerves. At the restaurant, somebody ordered rabbit pot-pie. It should have been very tasty except the bones had been crushed and dispersed throughout the serving. It was concluded that the poor rabbit must have been picked up from the highway after being struck by a car. The ride to Biloxi was much more soothing than that to Chattanooga.
Papers were presented at the Biloxi meeting by Drake and Roane. Drake described the control of Stemphylium leaf spot (Stemphylium loti) on birdsfoot trefoil with Dyrene. He could achieve an one-ton/acre increase in forage yield with 6 lb/acre of Dyrene at 7-day intervals. The effect on animals fed treated hay was not noted. Details of this were published later in the year (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 46:509-512). Drake also gave a paper on the host-parasite relations of S. loti in leaves and stems (Phytopathology 52:8). Roane reported on the genetics of reaction to Puccinia hordei in barley; he identified, 4 or possibly 5 loci in the race differentiating cultivars. There was considerable duplication of loci among the 9 cultivars (Ibid. 52:26).
Only Groves served the Society; he served as Councilor for the Potomac Division in 1962 and as a member of the Committee on New Fungicide and Nematocide Data (Ibid 52:463-464); he was chairman of the committee in 1961. In his report to the Council, Groves showed a continuing increase in sales and profits from the publication "Results of Fungicide-Nematocide Tests". He suggested that his health had become tenuous and he should be relieved of the chairmanship (Ibid. 52:476-477).
About 9 months later, the 1962 meeting was held in Corvallis, Oregon, August 26-29. Miller, in collaboration with M. B. Harrison and A. F. Schindler, described the, "Horsenettle and Osborne's cyst nematodes – two undescribed nematodes occurring in Virginia" (Ibid. 52:743). Difference between the two nematodes are slight; neither was given a Latin name.
The Potomac Division met April 24-25 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Garren presented two papers. In the first, "Reaction of five peanut varieties to cultural control of stem rot", he reported that 'NC 2' and 'NC 4X' showed less infection than 'Va, Bunch 46-2', 'Ga. 119-20', and 'Va. 56R', but there were no differences in yield of nuts. In, "Use of specific pesticides in determining the probable cause of peanut pod rot", Garren had tested fungicides specifically toxic to Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia spp. From tests with 15 materials, he concluded a Pythium sp. caused pod rot (Ibid. 52:1218). At the same meeting Smart reported on, "Distribution of cysts of Heterodera glycines in soil at different depths" (Ibid. 52:1221). He found cysts to a depth of 3 ft. while soybean roots extended to 5 ft. Although the majority of cysts were found 3 to 6 in. below the surface, he seemed to imply that eradication of the nematode would be very difficult.
Roane published the first of 3 papers on, "Inheritance of reaction to Puccinia hordei in barley" (Ibid 52:1288-1295). The data supported the paper presented at Biloxi; gene symbols were not assigned. Of significance was Roane's departure from classifying reaction types 0-2 as resistant and 3-4 as susceptible. Instead, 0-3 and 4 were the major classes, called non-4:4. This led to precision in identifying genes, a precision that was lost when the scheme for identifying physiologic races (0-2:3-4) was employed.
M. G. Hale, and Plant Physiologist, Roane, and M. R. C. Huang, Plant Physiology Graduate Student, published on the, "Effects of growth regulators on size and number of leaf spots, and on 02 uptake and extension growth of coleoptile sections of corn inbred lines K41 and K44" (Ibid. 52:185-191). Some growth regulators increased the size and number of spots caused by Helminthosporium carbonum. These same growth regulators caused an increase of 02 uptake and coleoptile extension.
There were very few Experiment Station publications in 1962. The 1961 corn performance tests were summarized by Ed Shulkcum and C. F. Genter, Agronomists, with Roane furnishing leaf blight data (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 62). It was noted that Virginia-bred hybrids were invariably scored lower (= better) than the test average for leaf blight in the Blacksburg and Holland tests. At Blacksburg, Helminthosporium turcicum caused the blight but at Holland it was mostly H. maydis. Although stalks were scored for stalk rot, the scores were not reported; the number of lodged and broken stalks was considered to be more useful information. Although the statements above hold generally true for the 1962 tests, gray leaf spot (GLS caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis) caused severe damage to the plants in the Glade Spring test (Ibid. 68:27. 1963). GLS had been noted frequently in our Blacksburg tests and breeding nurseries, this was the first occasion it had caused general damage. The scores averaged 3.6 on a scale of 0-5.0. Only two entries were scored less than 3.0. It was apparent that there was little resistance to GLS among a diverse group of 39 entries. GLS would become a serious problem as no-till corn production became commonplace.
Starling, Tramel (Agronomists) and Roane published "Results of Small Grain Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1962" (Ibid. 66). From the Petersburg test (p.11) we learned that only 'Hudson' barley seemed immune from scald (Rhynchosporium secalis); that several oat varieties (p.18) were resistant to the soil-borne mosaic virus and barley yellow dwarf virus (which we called red leaf); and that resistance to powdery mildew and leaf rust was absent in most Virginia-bred wheat entries (p.27). It was obvious that new sources of resistance were needed.
Troutman and LaPrade published their results on the, "Effect of pH on the Black Shank Disease of Tobacco" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 158. 1962). They found that at pH 4.0 even susceptible 'Va. Gold' survived well in laboratory tests when inoculated with Phytophthora parsitica var. nicotianae. In the field at pH 4.2 less than 10% of susceptible 'Va. 12' plants were killed. In the field, all susceptible plants died in limed plots as did some resistant plants. These results led to more careful management of soil pH in infested soils.
At the annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society (Roanoke, January 29- 31) Groves participated in a panel discussion on, "A critical look at orchard pest control". He made, "Comments on the disease control performance of the Virginia spray program and a look at future promise" [Va. Fruit 50 (3):137-139]. Fruit disease control was said to be at its highest level. Dodine furnished the best scab control ever obtained. Phaltan provides the best ever late season fruit rot control. New products were being tested but Groves declined to name them. No other publications on plant diseases appeared in Virginia Fruit for 1962.
At the 1962 meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science in May, Miller was Vice- Chairman of the Section of Agricultural Science. He was elected Chairman for 1962-63. Betty J. Gray, Miller's assistant, and Miller described the "Gross morphology of the Virginia 1 population of sting nematode" (Va. J. Sci. 13:212-213). They provided evidence that Va. 1 was a new species but did not name it.
Grover Smart and his assistant Barbara A. Wright, described the, "Survival of the cysts of Heterodera glycines adhering to stored sweetpotato, peanut, and peanut hay" (Ibid. 13:219-220). Cysts survived for 12 months through all storage conditions on each substrate.
K. H. MacDonald of the Eastern Shore substation published several items in the 1962 Vegetable Growers News (VGN). He described bean pod mottle of snapbeans [VGN 16 (1):3-4], design of experiments to determine the effectiveness of chemicals used against plant diseases [VGN 16 (7):2], fungicides for controlling seed piece rot on Irish potato [VGN 16 (8):2-3], and several foliage and fruit diseases of tomato [16 (11):2].
Brown stem rot of soybean (Cephalosporium gregatum) was found in Virginia for the first time. J. P. Ross (U.S.D.A. Raleigh, N.C.) and T. J. Smith (V.P.I. Agronomist) found the disease in experimental plantings in Richmond and Chesterfield Cos. during October 1962 (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 47:329). Soon thereafter it was found to be widespread in eastern Virginia.
Gruenhagen and Fordyce found a false holly plant (Osmanthus ilicifolius) infected by Verticillium albo-atrum. This plant represented a new host for V. albo-atrum in Virginia and probably for the United States (Ibid. 47:688).
In 1961 and 1962, the potato virus Y caused severe damage to varieties and lines of tobacco homozygous for resistance to root-knot. These varieties invariably developed a systemic necrosis. Plants which were susceptible to root-knot developed a mild mottle (Ibid. 47:187-189). Susceptibility to systemic necrosis was shown to be a recessive trait.
Troutman, Henderson, and LaPrade described a procedure for, "Indexing tobacco for black shank resistance" (Tobacco Sci. 6:109-111). They modified muffin tins and cake pans to create a mini-hydroponic system. Roots penetrated through screened openings into a nutrient solution to which inoculum of Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianum could be added. Susceptible plants died within 14 days of inoculation. Results from this procedure correlated well with field results. The method was functional on a year-round basis and saved much field space and time in identifying resistant breeding lines and varieties.
Henderson continued as a member of the editorial board of Tobacco Science.
Rachel Carson published a book under the ominous title "Silent Spring". This book would create all kinds of problems for manufacturers and users of pesticides but its impact would also be to create a more wholesome life for the world's biota. Insecticides, especially DDT were the chief target. As G. K. Parris put it, "----Emphasis on fungicide research started to drop in '57-58 and continued to the present (1978) "low". Emphasis on breeding for diseases resistance started to rise from a "low" in '57 to its present, and still climbing position" (A Chronology of Plant Pathology. Published by the Author. Mississippi State. 1979.). Carson's book assured that these activities would continue on their respective trends.
Thomas O. Evrard joined the faculty in 1963 as Instructor in Plant Physiology and Graduate Student in Weed Science. Stanislaw Sadowski came from Poland on a one-year post- doctoral program in Turf Pathology. He was tutored by Williams. Dr. Wingard, having the longest tenure on the entire faculty, served as greeter on behalf of the faculty at T. Marshall Hahn's inauguration as President of V.P.I. on April 4. Hahn had been functioning as President for a year and had already made many changes.
K. H. MacDonald resigned from the staff of the Truck Station at Painter and Robert E. Baldwin was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist to replace him.
The first major activity in 1963 was the meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society (Roanoke, January 28-30) where John Albert made his first presentation to the Society. He spoke on, "Suppressing apple scab lesions" [Va. Fruit 51(3):36-42]. He emphasized the action of Cyprex (dodine) in preventing scab. Most of the action was in preventing spore germination. Groves followed Albert with, "Minimizing fire blight losses" [Ibid. 51 (3):42-50). He stressed winter pruning, aphid control, application of streptomycin during the blossom period, reduction of nitrogen in fertilizers followed by addition of urea in sprays, and elimination of water sprouts during the growing season. Later, Groves discussed "Factors which affect program performance" [Ibid 51 (3):107-109]. According to Groves, weather if wet favored most diseases, but if dry favored powdery mildew and insects. Varieties vary wildly in their susceptibility to disease. The degree of pruning affects especially the severity of summer rots. Fertilizer practices, especially the management of nitrogen affects disease severity. Timing and thoroughness of spray application is the most important variable. As can be seen from the foregoing, several variables cannot be controlled but those which can should be within feasible limits.
Charles Drake made his first presentation as a fruit pathologist in, "A beginner's view of the Virginia fruit protection program" [Ibid 51(3):101-104]. He reviewed the history of plant protection, its successes and failures, in the Virginia fruit industry. He pointed out that virus diseases had not been fully assessed and that they represented an unknown in apple production. In the report for the 1962 annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Groves was shown to be continuing as the Councilor for the Potomac Division (Phytopathology 53:2) but his tenure ended upon election of J. G. Moseman at the March 1963 meeting of the Potomac Division (Ibid. 53:745). Groves, however, would continue as a member of the New Fungicide and Nematocide Data Committee (Ibid. 53:3). The committee report had been prepared by Groves before he retired as chairman (Ibid. 53:15).
Garren presented two papers at the 1963 meeting of the Potomac Division of A.P.S. He provided evidence that a Pythuim sp. caused peanut pod rot in 1961 and Rhizoctonia sp. caused rot in 1962 (Ibid 53:746. In the second paper he reported variation in susceptibility to Sclerotium rolfsii among peanut varieties; 'N.C. 2' was the least susceptible. Infection and yield were inversely correlated for all varieties tested. Garren did not use the word "resistance". Smart studied the survivability of soybean cyst nematodes passed through swine. Some encysted larvae survived but were unable to reproduce on soybean (Ibid. 53:889-890). Smart presented this information at the August 1963 meeting of A.P.S.
The only Experiment Station publications in 1963 were Research Reports. Williams was co-author with P. T. Gish and T. J. Smith, Agronomists, of "Results of Sudangrass and Pearl Millet Performance Tests in Virginia" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 70). Leaf blight caused by Helminthosporium turcicum on Sudangrass was the only disease observed. Starling and Roane compiled the, "Results of Small Grain Varietal Tests Conducted in Virginia in 1963" (Ibid. 74). 'Roanoke' oats and 'James' barley, products of the Virginia breeding program, were recommended for the first time. Differential reactions to powdery mildew of wheat were observed at Orange and Charlotte C.H.
C. F. Genter (Agronomist, Corn Breeder) published the, "Performance of Experimental Corn Hybrids in Virginia, 1962" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 69). Leaf blight scores from Blacksburg were furnished by Roane. On a scale of 0-5, the highest score was 4.0 with a mean of 3.1. Grain yield and leaf blight scores were reasonably well negatively correlated but an r value was not calculated. Hybrids of Virginia-bred inbred lines had greater resistance to leaf blight than other hybrids. The results of the 1963 corn tests had ratings for leaf blight only at Emory (Glade Spring); unlike 1962 when scores were for gray leaf spot, scores in 1963 were for H. turcicum. Some variation was noted (Ibid. 82. 1964).
The Director again authorized a summary of research for the period July 1, 1961 to June 30, 1963, under the title "Agricultural Progress" (Ibid. 75). Several reports of interest to pathologists were included:
- p. 9 - The small grains breeders (T. M. Starling) and plant pathologist (Roane) were said to be studying the inheritance of resistance to barley leaf rust, powdery mildew, and scald. The results with leaf rust have been noted. Forty varieties with resistance to powdery mildew were studied; four varieties had two genes. Most varieties studied for scald resistance had one gene.
- p. 13. - An attempt to predict the severity of black shank in a growing season based upon the severity of weather in the preceding season was being carried out at Chatham. (Wills).
- p. 14. - Several articles on nematode control included the stem nematode on alfalfa, various nematodes on peanut, survival of and resistance to the soybean cyst nematode, and soil fumigation to control peanut and soybean nematodes.
A number of miscellaneous journal publications appeared in 1963:
John Albert published "Effectiveness of fungicides against apple scab conidia under greenhouse conditions (Fungicide-Nematocide Rept. 19:26).
Drake published on, "Host-parasite relations of Stemphylium leaf spot and stem canker of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)" (Phytopathology 53:1094-1099); and on, "Peach brown rot control" (Fungicide-Nematocide Tests 19:50).
Garren and W. K. Bailey (U.S.D.A.) described, "Comparative responses of a Virginia runner and a Virginia bunch peanut to cultural control of stem rot" (Agron. J. 55:290-293). J. M. Good (U.S.D.A. Tifton, Ga.), J. N. Sasser (Raleigh, N.C.), and Miller provided, "A suggested guide for reporting experiments on nematocidal chemicals" (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 47:159- 163). Their lament was that a lack of uniformity prevailed in nematocide reports. Essential information, especially about edaphic factors, was frequently lacking. They made suggestions for correcting the situation.
Henderson and Troutman reported the occurrence of "A severe virus disease of tobacco in Montgomery County, Virginia" (Ibid. 47:187-189). This was reviewed earlier as a 1962 phenomenon.
Williams observed the twist disease on orchardgrass for the first time in Virginia during the late May - early June 1963 period of anthesis (Ibid. 48:119). It had been reported on wheat by Fenne in 1959. The fungus, Dilophospora alopecuri, is reported to be associated with the wheat gall nematode, Anguina tritici, but no such association could be established in orchardgrass.
In 1963, corn and Johnsongrass in Fluvanna Co. were observed by Roane to be infected with a disease later identified as maize dwarf mosaic (Ibid. 49:665-667). Appearance of this disease caused a shift in the corn breeding program.
Wills reported that the black shank fungus could be spread during overhead irrigation of tobacco fields from farm ponds. Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae could be isolated from leaves and stems high up on infected plants from a field in Charlotte Co., 1963; lower parts were healthy. The outbreak correlated with irrigation of the field. Plants of both 'Hicks', susceptible, and 'Coker 319', resistance, were infected. Although contaminated irrigation water had been postulated to be the source of inoculum, Wills' report is the first to provide such evidence (Ibid. 48:35-36).
Fenne re-issued two Extension Service publications in 1963. "Tobacco Diseases in Virginia" (Va. Agri. Ext. Ser. Bul. 152) and, "What You Should Know About Plant Diseases" (Ibid. Bul. 261), were slightly revised. Osborne prepared an Extension Circular titled, "Control Nematodes in Tobacco for Better Quality and Higher Profits" and with Pristou prepared, "Control Nematodes in Peanuts for Extra Profits".
At the May 1963 of the Virginia Academy of Science, Miller served as Chairman of the Agricultural Section. P. L. Duke and Miller reported on, "Buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum, a new host of the knotweed cyst nematode, Heterodera weissi (Va. J. Sci. 14:164). B. J. Gray (Miller's Technician) and Miller made "A comparison of the gross morphology of three populations of the sting nematode" (Ibid. 14:165). This work led them to believe they had found a geographical variant of an undescribed species. Smart in his report on, "Peanut rust in Virginia" (Ibid. 14:176), postulated how the October 1961 occurrence of rust resulted from hurricane- borne spores from tropical America. In a second paper, "Physiological races of Ditylenchus destructor, the potato rot nematode...."(Ibid.14:176), Smart discussed the effects of P and K on oviposition and length of life cycle (Ibid.14:177).
Henderson completed his final year on the editorial board of Tobacco Science but continued as a member of the Tobacco Council. Wingard remained as a member of the College Resolutions Committee.
A significant event took place in the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology during September 30 - October 4, 1963. The cooperative State Experiment Station Service of the U.S.D.A. had ceased the annual "inspection" of Experiment Station projects. Inspection had become an unwieldy farce. During the 5 days in September and October The Department underwent its first "Comprehensive Review". A committee of eminent plant pathologists and physiologists from several state universities and the U.S.D.A. served as reviewers. J. C. Walker (Univ. of Wisconsin), C. J. Nusbaum (N.C. State Univ.), and J. F. Fulkerson (U.S.D.A., C.S.R.S.) were the pathologists on the panel. The document prepared for the comprehensive review has been a fertile source of information to the writer of this history but of more importance is the recommendations of the panel. The following points were made:
- There should be greater expertise in the Department in the areas of virology, mycology, bacteriology and forest pathology.
- Projects should be rewritten such that there would be more specific objectivity and increased emphasis on basic research.
- Miller's expertise in nematology and Will's expertise in mycology would be more useful if they could contribute to the instruction program at Blacksburg.
- There should be increased extension effort in fruit pathology to relieve research workers from extension type work.
- Publication of findings is lagging. Effort should be expended to up-date and publish results.
At the Truck Station, MacDonald wrote about "The use of fungicides for control of seed piece rot of Irish potatoes", [Veg. Growers News 17 (8):3-4] in which he recommended dusting seed pieces if 'Pungo' and 'Irish Cobbler' with captan or zineb. MacDonald also described, "Some diseases found on snap beans on the Eastern Shore" [Ibid. 18 (2):14]. Included were ashy stem blight, Fusarium and Rhizoctonia root rot. This was MacDonald's last publication from work at the Truck Station.
G. B. Ohekar (Grad. Student, Horticulture), P. H. Massey, Jr. (Horticulturist, V.P.I.) and A. S. Williams described, "Histological investigations of resistant and susceptible varieties of tomato to rootknot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) [Ibid. 18(11):3-4]. This was somewhat unusual for V.G.N. which rarely contained papers on basic aspects of plant pathology. Nugent summarized, "Vegetable diseases in 1963" [Ibid. 18(6):1-2]. He explained why late blight of potatoes and downy mildew of cucurbits did not occur; it was too dry, and because it was dry, powdery mildew was prevalent. Despite the dryness, gray leaf spot of tomato was damaging throughout the truck crop area. Nugent also published on, "Snapbean diseases" [Ibid. 18(9):3]. He described and gave control measures for 8 diseases: Two bacterial blights, powdery mildew, rust, root rots, Southern blight, Sclerotinia wilt, and the virus diseases bean mosaic and bean pod mottle. Nugent and Baldwin also publish a bulletin, "Disease (control?) Recommendations for Truck Crops in Eastern Virginia".
An era ended in 1964; Samuel A. Wingard retired October 31, ending 47 years of association with V.P.I. He was appointed Assistant Plant Pathologist in 1917, he became Head of the Department in 1928, was reduced to Head of the Section of Plant Pathology and Botany in the Department of Biology in 1935, and was restored to Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology in 1947. When Wingard retired, R. G. Henderson was appointed Acting Department Head until a new permanent Head could be installed.
W. H. Wills was promoted to Associate Professor on July 1, 1964, and Smart resigned May 29.
Coyt T. Wilson, originally a plant pathologist but in recent years an assistant director of the Experiment Station at Auburn University, was appointed Associate Director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station on July 1, 1964. Even though like Miller and Roane, he had earned a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, he never participated in the affairs of our Department.
Aside from administrative changes, a number of technical publications were issued. In January, J. L. LaPrade, J. G. Petty (Research Technician), and W. H. Wills (all of the Chatham Tobacco Disease Research Station), published on the, "Use of Plastic Film in Production of Tobacco Seedlings" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bul. 167). They compared cheese cloth, 4-mil clear plastic, and a combination of these. The combination gave best results by shortening the time between seeding and transplanting from 9 weeks to 6 weeks. Diseases were not a factor.
The remainder of Experiment Station publications for 1964 were in the Research Report series. In "Results of Sudangrass and Pearl Millet Performance Tests in Virginia, 1961-1963" (Va. Agri. Expt. Stat. Res. Rept. 77) Gish, Smith, and Williams followed the same format as in previous reports. The comments on diseases appear to be reprinted from those reports. LaPrade and J. G. Petty, Research Technician at Chatham, described the, "Evaluation of Flue-Cured Tobacco Breeding Material, 1963" (Ibid. 86). They selected for black shank resistance in the field and further screened material by the "muffin pan" method, testing for the black root rot resistance, reaction to potato virus Y as an indicator for root knot reaction, and tobacco mosaic virus.
Varieties and lines emerging from tests conducted by LaPrade and Petty were advanced to field tests. J. W. Crews (Tobacco Breeder) M. J. Rogers (Agronomist), LaPrade, Troutman, and Henderson summarized such work in "Performance of Flu-Cured Tobacco Varieties and Breeding Lines Tested in Virginia in 1963" (Ibid. 87). Disease reactions were recorded for black shank (field and laboratory), black root rot, and Fusarium and Granville wilts. Breeding for multiple disease resistance was a major function of tobacco improvement.
Henderson, R. D. Sears (Agronomist, Charlotte C.H.) released "Va. 331, a Fire-Cured Variety with Black Shank Resistance" " (Ibid 90). Va. 331 was the first fire-cured variety to have black shank resistance. It was a cross of 'Walkers Broad Leaf' and 'Vesta 55' and it was derived from a single F4 plant. Resistance was from Vesta 55; leaf quality was very similar to Walkers Broad Leaf.
LaPrade, J. W. Crews, and M. J. Rogers released "Va. 115, A New Flue-Cured Variety with Black Shank Resistance" (Ibid. 96) which originated from the cross Hicks X Coker 139. Va. 115 was highly resistant to black shank in Virginia and moderately resistant to black shank in North Carolina. It was agronomically similar to the Hicks parent.
In "Results of Small Grain Varietal Tests conducted in Virginia in 1964" (Ibid. 91), Starling and Roane reported field reaction to powdery mildew on oats, barley, wheat, and rye; leaf rust reactions on barley and wheat; and stem rust reactions on wheat. Resistance was observed in all crops and in all diseases except mildew on rye and stem rust on wheat. Greenhouse seedling reactions correlated well with field reactions.
Efforts to breed wheat resistant to stem rust had ceased because the disease was no longer a problem. Wheat production in Virginia had shifted to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont where no barberries existed to provide primary inoculum. When stem rust appeared on rare occasions in eastern Virginia wheat fields, it was so sparse that it caused no loss.
P. T. Gish, T. J. Smith (Agronomists) and Williams summarized, "Results of Sudangrass and Pearl Millet Performance Tests in Virginia, 1962-1964" (Ibid. 97). Comments about diseases were as in Research Report 77; disease scores were provided. Only one Sudangrass variety had consistently high disease Helminthosporium turcicum.
During the 1964 corn growing season, drought prevented the appearance of foliage diseases and no leaf blight data were reported (E. Shulkcum and C. F. Genter. 1965. Corn Performance Tests in Virginia in 1964. Ibid. 95).
The Director of the Experiment Station, H. N. Young, authorized the publication of a biennial summary of research under the title "Agricultural Progress, July 1, 1963 to June 30, 1965" (Research Rept. 102). Among reports related to plant pathology were:
- p. 9 - Maize dwarf mosaic was found in 13 Cos. Transmission studies indicated that corn, sorghum, sundangrasses, and Johnsongrass were the primary hosts and that the virus (MDMV) could be freely transmitted by sap and aphids among these species. MDMV appeared to be a strain of sugarcane mosaic verus.
- p. 11 - Peanut stunt was found in 1964 and was very severe in some fields.
- p. 13 - Resistance to the soybean cyst nematode was found in soybean line P.I. 90763.
- p. 14 - Workers at Chatham reported that cutting seedling roots and dipping damaged plants into suspensions of Pseudomonas solanacearum greatly improved selection of tobacco for Granville wilt resistance. They also found the resistance of excised leaf tissue and resistance to root infection by the tobacco black shank fungus were highly correlated. There was a report of progress in breeding burley tobacco for resistance to black shank and wildfire. The Osborne's cyst nematode in Amelia could be controlled by soil fumigation with DD. Resistance had been found and F1 plants were being tested.
- p. 16 - Fungicides were tested and several were found useful for dollar spot control on golf greens and Helminthosporium vagans of bluegrass.
- p. 38 - The horsenettle cyst nematode was found to be destructive to eggplant in greenhouse tests; no field damage had been observed.
- p. 50 - Features for distinguishing the horsenettle and Osborne's cyst nematodes had been found.
Most of the synopses cited above were taken from project report summaries. Some were also topics of technical publications and papers read at meetings.
There were several journal publications issued by the faculty in 1964. Surprisingly, plant pathologists did not participate in the annual meeting of the Virginia State Horticultural Society nor did they contribute any articles to Virginia Fruit in 1964.
Wills and Troutman described, "Electrotaxis of Phytophthora parasitica zoospores and its possible role in infection of tobacco by the fungus" (Phytopathology 54:225-228). Zoospores were always attracted to the negative pole. The authors stated that roots produced weak electric fields and that they must be strongest just behind the root cap and that attachment of the spores by their flagellae to root surfaces is effected by electrostatic forces.
Wills and J. H. Crews (Agronomist) described the, "Expression of black shank resistance in leaves of flue-cured tobacco" (Ibid. 54: 1356-1358). Lesion extension in leaf strips dipped in a spore suspension for 7 days provided data that correlated well with the whole plant method results. Thus, the relative resistance of plants growing in the field could be determined without having to observe its survivability in infested soil.
Garren continued to explore the control of "Inoculum potential and differences among peanuts in susceptibility to Sclerotium rolfsii" (Ibid. 54:279-281). In four regimens of plant debris obtained by deep covering-nondirting, surface mulching-nondirting, deep covering- nondirting, and surface mulching-dirting, stem rot became progressively severer and yields correspondingly smaller. He classified 'NC 2' as resistant, 'Va. Bunch 46-2' as intermediate, 'Spanish' as susceptible, and 'Valencia' as highly susceptible.
Claude Fordyce with Ralph Green (Purdue Univ.) published a portion of his Ph.D. dissertation work in, "Mechanism of variation in Verticillium albo-atrum", (Ibid.. 54:795-798).
At the A.P.S. Potomac Division meetings held March 5-6, R. E. Baldwin of the Painter station on Eastern Shore, presented a summary of work done at West Virginia University on, "Nematodes associated with red clover growing on favorable and unfavorable sites" (Ibid. 54:746). No significant correlations were found.
Roane and Starling (V.P.I. Agronomist) presented a paper at the annual meeting of A.P.S. titled, "Gene loci conditioning reaction to leaf rust in barley" (Ibid. 54:904). The gene in 'Weider' previously labeled Pa1 was found to allelic with the A locus. The gene in 'Estate' (Pa2) was not allelic with any of the loci in the leaf-rust-differentiating varieties (A,B,C,D,X).
Williams presented a paper on, "Comparisons of Virginia isolates of Corynebacterium from orchardgrass with Corynebacterium raythayi and C. tritici from the American Type Culture Collection" (Ibid. 54:912). The Virginia isolates were more closely related to C. tritici than to C. raythayi.
In a paper given by Wills, the "Effect of defoliation of tobacco on expression of resistance to Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae" (Ibid. 54:912), it was reported that defoliation reduced the resistance of a resistant variety. There was evidence that resistant varieties release a factor into the liquid growing medium that could be taken up by susceptible plants resulting in an increase of their resistance. Defoliation interfered with this process.
Robert Pristou was a member of the A.P.S. Extension Committee for 1964 (Ibid. 54:3).
The faculty published several papers in the Plant Disease Reporter. Drake reported on, "The relationship of white grubs, facultative fungi, and bacteria on the decline of birdsfoot trefoil"(Pl. Dis. Reptr. 48:406-408). The insects were the primary causes of damage. Garren reported on progress in reducing pod rot (Ibid. 48:344-348; 349-352). Grover Smart of the Holland station published two papers on variation and host range of the soybean cyst nematode (Ibid. 48:388-390; 542-543). Species of Caryophyllaceae and Scrophulariaceae were found to be hosts.
Wills described the, "Autumn weather in relation to subsequent occurrence of tobacco black shank in Virginia" (Ibid. 48:32-34). 'Vesta 5', a moderately resistant variety, was more damaged by black shank following a warm wet October accompanied by a late freeze than when a cool dry October accompanied by an early freeze preceded a growing season. The observations were made over a 9-year period on the same land where tobacco was grown continuously.
Williams described the, "Twist disease of orchardgrass in Virginia" (Ibid 48:119). It was the first report of Dilophospora alopecuri on orchardgrass in the eastern United States. J. W. Crews, Wills, and LaPrade published, "Black shank disease reactions of six flue- cured varieties and the hybrids among them" (Tob. Sci. 8:128-132) in which from muffin pan tests they described reactions of two susceptible varieties, 'Hicks' and 'Virginia Gold'; four resistant varieties 'McNair 10', 'NC 95', 'Vesta 5', and 'Coker 187'. Resistance had been derived from 'Fla. 301'. Within groups no differences in reaction were observed but in F1 hybrids, differences were observed. Hicks crosses were more resistant than Va. Gold crosses. Vesta 5 transmitted the highest degree of dominance and the F1 of Coker 187 had greatest resistance. Genetics of F1 is not very useful but the authors charted an interesting analysis.
In a paper, "Indexing tobacco for black root rot resistance" (Tob. Sci. 8:21-23), Troutman described a technique used to select plants resistant to Thielaviopsis basicola. It was essentially a modification of the muffin tin procedure for indexing tobacco plants for reaction to the black shank fungus (Tob. Sci. 6:107-109).
At the May 1964 meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, two non-pathologists, M. W. Alexander (Asst. Agronomist) and G. M. Boush (Asst. Entomologist) of the Holland station reported on, "Differential reaction of certain peanut lines to Botrytis blight" (Va. J. Sci. 15:248- 249). In 1963, 38 peanut introduction lines were evaluated for reaction to Botrytis blight. Only one line P.I. 269-041, was scored as significantly better than the others. It was a Virginia type plant which could provide a source of resistance should a breeding program become necessary. Miller, P. L. Duke, and Betty Gray reported on two species of Rumex as new hosts of the knotweed nematode (Ibid. 15:260), and Smart reported that soybean in fumigated, infested soils yielded 46% more than those in unfumigated, soils infested with the soybean cyst nematode (Ibid. 15:265).
Three diseases new to Virginia were observed or confirmed during 1964, but reported at later dates. Gruenhagen reported the occurrence of Endothia parasitica on live oak in May at Fort Monroe (Pl. Dis. Reptr. 49:269). It had been found at Colonial Williamsburg in 1960 by May and Davidson of the U.S.D.A. (Ibid. 44:754). Roane and Troutman reported the presence of maize dwarf mosaic in 15 counties primarily on farms near the James and Roanoke-Staunton Rivers. The virus could be transmitted to corn, johnsongrass, teosinte, pearl millet, sorghum and Sudangrass. Numerous other cereals and grasses were insusceptible (Ibid. 49:665-667). In 1966, Miller and Troutman described a, "Stunt disease of peanuts in Virginia", which Miller had found in Southampton and Sussex Cos. in 1964. (Ibid. 50:139-143), as noted in the biennial summary "Agricultural Progress" (Va. Agri. Expt. Sta. Res. Rept. 102, 1965). Peanut stunt was found to be an aphid-borne virus disease new to the United States. Where it occurred in Virginia, it caused up to 50% loss of marketable peanuts.
Extension publications became more difficult to locate after 1961. However, a number of pages were prepared by Gruenhagen for the Nurserymen's Notebook on diseases of ornamentals and techniques for disease control. In 1964, titles published were:
- Rose blackspot and mildew, MR-0-9 (Rev.).
- Useful conversion factors, MR-0-16 (Rev.).
- Dogwood spot anthracnose, MR-0-30.
- Hollyhock rust, MR-0-31.
- Toxicity of certain fungicides and soil fumigants, MR-0-32.
- Criss-cross dilution method, MR-0-33.
Pathologists at the Truck Station apparently published only in the Vegetable Grower's News although some bulletins for growers may have been prepared. Nugent wrote about "Disease control in fall grown cucumbers" [Veg. Growers News 19 (1):1, 4]. 'Palmetto' and 'Santee' were named as resistant to downy mildew and 'Ashley' was resistant to both downy and powdery mildew. For angular leaf spot and anthracnose, disease-free seed, crop rotation and spraying with folpet were recommended. Nugent also described two diseases troublesome during harvesting and marketing sweet potatoes; namely, black rot and soft rot [V.G.N. 19 (2):2]. E. A. Borchers, Plant Breeder, described, "Controlled testing for disease resistance" [V.G.N. 18 (9):4] in which he explained how soil and air temperature, soil moisture, and humidity were controlled to facilitate reactions to tomato Fusarium wilt and spinach downy mildew fungi. Borchers also described, Chesapeake hybrid, a new F1 spinach hybrid [V.C.N. 19 (3):1, 4]. This variety was resistant to spinach blight caused by the cucumber mosaic virus and downy mildew caused by Peronospora effusa.
Since this concluded a review of individual accomplishments during S. A. Wingard's tenure and with his retirement on October 31, it might be appropriate to review the growth of the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology during his second tenure as Department Head. In September 1949, when the Department was formed, there were five professors (Wingard, Fenne, Groves, Henderson and Shear), five associate professors (Hurt, Jenkins, LaPrade, Miller and Roane) and one assistant professor (Spasoff). In October 1964, there 28 faculty members. New professors were Chappell, Garren (USDA, adjunct professor), and Gruenhagen; six new associate professors (Drake, Hale, Kates, Osborne, Pristou, Troutman, and Williams); seven new assistant professors (Bingham, Fordyce, LeFevre, Rud, Smart, and Sterrett); and two instructors (Albert and Evrard). Jenkins had died but all others were still present; no one had resigned. Extension faculty had been increased from one full time equivalent (FTE) to five, four of whom were pathologists and one was in weed work. Initially there was one FTE in teaching and this assignment remained constant. The remainder of new faculty were in research. Nine were classified as plant physiologists 19 as plant pathologists. Eight plant pathologists were at field stations in 1964, up from two in 1949. The new pathologists extended areas of specialization into nematology, virology, forage crops, ornamentals. Work on peanut, tobacco and tree fruit diseases was expanded. Significant strides were made in control of peanut, tobacco, and alfalfa nematodes, breeding disease-resistant tobacco and grain crops, evaluating organic fungicides in orchards, and developing new procedures for evaluating disease resistance in tobacco. A Tobacco Disease Research Station was established in 1949 under the direction of W. A. Jenkins, and later after Jenkin's death, was staffed by three faculty members. Protection of crops was given high priority but some basic research was conducted.
The physical facilities at Blacksburg were poorer in 1949 than at the field stations. Little was done to upgrade laboratories, offices, and class rooms in Price Hall but greenhouses facilities were upgraded and the campus expanded, better field plot land became available perforce. Our old plot land just north of the upper duck pond had been taken to facilitate building West Campus Drive, the golf course, and a parking lot.
It is hard to say how much growth was attributable to Wingards' efforts and how much was inevitably caused by agricultural prosperity of the era. When Wingard was interviewed by a local paper in 1964, he recounted his most important achievements as: Cooperating in the introduction of seed treatment to peanut farmers; encouraging, participating in, and supporting projects for breeding disease-resistant crop varieties; supporting a vigorous fruit disease control program; participating in, and supporting the development of an outstanding vegetation control program; and providing leadership and support to extension, teaching, and research projects pertinent to a modern department in a land-grant university. He derived personal satisfaction from his bean work for which he was once called a modern "Jack" as in "Jack and the Bean Stalk". Wingard's effectiveness was difficult to evaluate; he worked quietly with administrators and they respected his counsel. Whatever the case, Sam Wingard captained a fruitful period of calm progress. His era was superceded by one of disconcerting upheaval characterized by sharply delimited and altered priorities. Happiness and calm, reflective contemplation over ones objectives would soon disappear.
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