Research Specialty and Interests
Virus diseases of horticultural, vegetable and food crops. Virus characterization, diagnostics, plant-virus-vector interactions, development of integrated crop improvement strategies, virus diseases in international agriculture and capacity building in developing countries. Current focus is on virus diseases of grapevines and vegetables.
Diseases of Fruit Crops – Pl P 300. Fall (A/Y). This undergraduate course provides a comprehensive understanding of the diseases of grapes, tree fruits and small fruits grown in Washington State, caused by bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and phytoplasmas. Class lectures and field visits provide inquiry-based, active learning of different aspects of diseases in fruit crops and relate specific concepts learned in the class room to ‘real world’ situations.
Current Lab Members
- Sridhar Jarugula, Graduate Student
- Sudarsana Poojari, Graduate Student
- Tefera Mekuria, Post-Doctoral Research Associate
- Linga Reddy Gutha, Post-Doctoral Research Associate
- Olufemi Alabi, Post-Doctoral Research Associate
- Andrew Schultz, Undergraduate Student
Grape Virology Program
The Washington State Grape and Wine Industry has identified management of virus diseases impacting fruit quality and vine health as a key research priority for achieving the central goal of tripling the economic value of the industry by 2020. The Grape Virology program at WSU-Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser is responding by establishing an integrated program of research, extension, and education.
- Discovery of knowledge
- Development of tools and techniques, and
- Deployment of knowledge-based strategies
- Better understand the biology and epidemiology of virus diseases in Washington vineyards
- Develop management strategies to mitigate negative impacts of virus diseases on vine health and fruit and wine quality
Fundamental and applied research on wine grape virus diseases has been done in a holistic manner through interdisciplinary and trans-institutional collaborations, drawing expertise and funding from a variety of sources. Established partnerships with grape and wine industry stakeholders and regulatory agencies translate science-based knowledge into practical applications via extension and outreach programs.
- Promotes sustainable growth of a high-value perennial fruit crop contributing to Washington State’s economic prosperity
- Creates experiential education opportunities for Viticulture and Enology undergraduate students to interact with industry professionals and gain professional, essential life skills to become future leaders of the wine industry
- Demonstrates practical agricultural and basic science impacts, and benefits other grape-growing regions, creating a global scope for the grape virology program at WSU-IAREC
“Multidisciplinary research is often the most effective approach to develop solutions to complex problems in agricultural production systems.The long term goal of our grape virology program is to promote healthy growth of the state’s wine grape industry by being the primary resource for contemporary, science-based information on diseases of wine grapes and their management. Our main objective is to work with growers in a participatory approach and provide them with best management practices to deal with diseases.” – Dr. Naidu A. Rayapati, Professor (Virology)