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Pathology Research and Extension

Dr. Mizuho Nita, Grape Pathologist, discussing grape diseases with growers in a vineyard..
Dr. Mizuho Nita, Grape Pathologist, discussing grape diseases with growers.


Research at the center includes plant disease epidemiology and using various epidemiological tools to come up with efficient plant disease management practices that achieve maximum disease management with low chemical input. Researchers have been developing empirical and mechanistic models that describe relationships between a plant disease and environmental conditions. These models can be used to help growers make decisions on fungicide application.  Plans are to develop an online, map-based grape disease risk assessment system for Virginia wine grape growers.


Grape Extension pathology activities include exploration of cultural and chemical means of disease management, fungicide and fungicide-alternative testing, variety susceptibility evaluation, and development of novel diagnostic tools. Extension programs also target growers as well as Cooperative Extension agents with training in disease identification and management, using electronic and printed resources, such as disease fact sheets.