Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Plant Pathology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Plant Pathology

Advisor

Craig Rothrock

Committee Member

Terry N. Spurlock

Second Committee Member

Tina G. Teague

Keywords

Cotton, GIS, Seedling Disease, Spatial Statistics

Abstract

Seedling diseases are important factors in cotton stand establishment, and seedling disease pathogens are widespread in fields in Arkansas. Little is known about the variability of seedling disease pressure within fields. With expanded adoption of site-specific management and other precision agriculture approaches, cotton producers are increasingly interested in predicting seedling disease pressure, particularly in spatially variable fields. The cotton seedling disease pathogens include the soilborne pathogens Thielaviopsis basicola, Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium spp., and Fusarium spp. These pathogens can survive in soil for long periods and, and when the environment is conducive, these pathogens can act individually or in combination to cause a range of symptoms on seed, roots and hypocotyls, which can affect germination, emergence, and early-season growth and development of plants. Seedling diseases reduce stand density and seedling vigor, which in turn results in variable plant growth and maturity. Results from experiments conducted at the Judd Hill Cooperative Research Foundation in Poinsett Co. Arkansas showed field-scale increases of cotton seedling disease pressure where minimal soil temperature was lower (20.0 °C) and lower seedling disease pressure where minimal soil temperature was higher (21.5 °C) for both years of this study. This study indicates the importance of the role of the environment in disease development and supports the site-specific management zone approaches being adopted by cotton producers.

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