Detecting hybrid barberry and investigating its role in rust epidemiology
Pablo D. Olivera Firpo, Plant Pathology
Common barberry and Japanese barberry are both terrestrial invasive species that have spread throughout the United States, including Minnesota. These species also readily hybridize, resulting in Berberis ×ottawensis, a nothospecies which can host cereal rust diseases that threaten wheat and small grain production.
Researchers know that this hybrid is present in Minnesota, but accurate identification is difficult, and a definitive survey has never been conducted. Doing so is important to assess the threat it poses to both agricultural systems and forest health.
Where is B. ×ottawensis present in Minnesota?
How can B. ×ottawensis be identified?
How susceptible are hybrids to stem rust, and what threat do they pose to Minnesota’s small grain producers?
This project will develop cost-effective molecular diagnostic tools to identify barberry hybrids throughout Minnesota. The reliable identification of these hybrids will lead to the development of effective management strategies, including the potential need for a reconsideration of the legal status of all three barberry taxa to protect the small grains industry.
USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Framingham State University
Pablo D. Olivera Firpo, principal investigator, Department of Plant Pathology
Nick Greatens, graduate student
Yue Jun, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab
Las Szabo, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab
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