New Research Tackles Rose Rosette, Black Spot Diseases
Published:30 Oct.2022    Source:Horticultural Research Institute

The industry suffers nearly $10 million in annual losses due to the two most damaging rose diseases: rose rosette disease (RRD) and black spot. Typical symptoms of RRD are known and widely accepted; they include rapid elongation of new shoots, witches’ brooms, small or distorted leaves, red pigmentation of stems or foliage, and excessive thorn development. 

Fortunately, a group of 21 researchers from around the country led by Dr. David Byrne and Dr. Oscar Riera-Lizarazu at Texas A&M have received $4M through the USDA NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) to develop adapted and commercially acceptable rose rosette resistant varieties.
The project combines traditional plant breeding, field evaluations, and molecular genetics to develop sustainable landscapes based on cultivars resistant to rose rosette and black spot diseases. The project will also seek best practices for managing the diseases through a series of multistate trails assessing chemical and cultural controls. Finally, project economists will evaluate the management options for socio-economic impacts and provide decision support information for the industry and home gardeners.