Sentinel blackberry plants after one month in the field at Killdeer Farms, Kings Mountain, NC. These plants are being used to determine the timing of virus infection in blackberries. Photo: HJB
The Winter 2011 issue of the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium's Small Fruit News is now online. Of particular interest are an article on developing a marketing and research program from blackberries and raspberries, a project being organized by the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association, and an article by Ioannis Tzanetakis, University of Arkansas, and colleagues detailing new virus findings in blackberries. The role of my lab in this virus project is to help determine potential vectors by tracking insect movement in relation to disease transmission. Our first set of traps and sentinel plants were placed in April 2010, and we completed our first field season in October.
Pan trap placed near sentential blackberry plants to capture flying aphids and other insects. These and other traps are being used to relate insect movement to virus infection timing in blackberries. Photo: HJB
Kevin Littlejohn, a research technician in my lab, has been busily processing insect traps all winter and will be identifying our findings to species as well as identifying viruses in sentinel plants. This project has been funding by the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) and will continue for at least 3 more field seasons.
Small Fruit News, Vol 11. Issue 1.