WSU-Mount Vernon NW Research Center

Vegetable Seed Pathology Program

Video: Interview with Dr. Lindsey du Toit discussing Spinach and Spinach Seeds at WSU Mt. Vernon. From Season 6 of WA Grown, a collaboration of agricultural groups working together to help Washingtonians learn more about the food their state supplies locally and globally.

 

Did you know that farmers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA produce a significant percentage of the USA and world supply of seed for >35 small-seeded vegetable crops? Although these high value seed crops total <15,000 acres annually in Washington, they play a significant role in the global vegetable industry. One acre of hybrid cabbage seed crop produces about 2,000 lb of seed, which will plant about 10,000 acres of cabbage. About 90 countries import vegetable seed from the PNW because so few regions of the world have the specific climatic conditions necessary for production of high quality seed. The competitive nature of the vegetable seed industry necessitates production of high quality seed that is free of pathogens.

cabbage seed
Cabbage seed crop trial in bloom at the
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC.


Carrot umbel severely blighted by Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae.
Carrot umbel severely blighted by
Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae.

The Vegetable Seed Pathology program was initiated in August 2000 by Lindsey du Toit at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC (http://mtvernon. wsu.edu/), as part of the WSU Safe Food Initiative (http://ext.wsu.edu/safefood/). The objective of this research and extension program is to contribute towards a sustainable and secure food supply by providing research and extension support on vegetable seed crop diseases – Lindsey’s program serves vegetable seed growers regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her program investigates the biology, epidemiology, and management of an array of fungal, viral, and bacterial diseases that affect small-seeded vegetable seed crops in the Pacific Northwest.

Some of the research projects on which the Vegetable Seed Pathology program has focused include:

 

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pseudothecia
Pseudothecia of Pleospora herborum (teleomorph of
Stemphylium botryosum
) developing on a spinach seed

onion blight
Onion and scape blight in an  onion seed crop,
caused by Botrytis allii and Botrytis aclada.

The Vegetable Seed Pathology program collaborates widely with other researchers, extension specialists, and extension educators. Extension activities are accomplished through workshops, conferences, publications, regional and state advisory committees, and the PNW Vegetable Extension Group ( http://mtvernon.wsu.edu/path_team/vegpath_team.htm).A number of new diseases have been reported in Washington State or other states by the Vegetable Seed Pathology program. For example, Fusarium wilt of radish in Washington, the powdery mildew fungus Leveillula taurica on onion in Washington and on potato in the USA, ( “Leveillula taurica on potatoes”), Xanthomonas campestris pv. coriandri on coriander in the USA, Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) on onion in Washington, Stemphylium leaf spot of spinach in Washington and Arizona, and infection of onion seed crops and onion seed by Botrytis porri.

 

Visit the VSP Team page for details on staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and interns in the Vegetable Seed Pathology program.

veg seed path team

Vegetable Seed Pathology Team, July 2009.
FRONT (L-R): Avi Alcala (PhD student), Barbara Holmes (Ag. Research Tech. I), Katie Reed (WSU undergraduate intern),
Amy Christianson (summer assistant).

BACK (L-R): Emily Gatch (PhD student), Mike Derie (Scientific Assistant), Louise Brissey (Ag. Research Tech. II), and
Lindsey du Toit (Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist).

 

team

Presentation of research projects at the 2009
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC Field Day
.

L to R: Lindsey du Toit, Emily Gatch and Avi Alcala (PhD students), Katie Reed (undergraduate intern), Amy Christianson, summer assistant, and Louise Brissey (Ag. Research Tech. II).

Mike Derie (Ag. Research Tech. III), 
					  Martin Chilvers (former postdoctorate), and Lindsey du Toit (Associate Scientist and 
					  Extension specialist).
Mike Derie (Scientific Assistant Sr.), Martin Chilvers (former postdoctorate), and Lindsey du Toit
(Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist).

The Vegetable Seed Pathology program is supported by vegetable seed growers in Washington (the Columbia Basin Vegetable Seed Association and the Puget Sound Seed Growers’ Association), various state and federal grants, the Alfred Christianson Endowed Professorship, the Robert MacDonald Vegetable Seed Memorial Fund, and the vegetable seed industry.

 

For further information on the Vegetable Seed Pathology program,
contact Lindsey du Toit at dutoit@wsu.edu or at 360-848-6140.

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16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273 | 360-848-6120 | FAX 360-848-6159 | AMS.MountVernon@wsu.edu | KG 7.09