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Dry Bean Bacterial Wilt Pathogen Can Be Different Colors

By Robert Harveson, University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Plant Pathologist

Bacterial wilt of dry beans, caused by Curtobacterium flaccufaciens pv. flaccumfaciens (Cff), has historically posed sporadic but often serious production problems in dry beans throughout the irrigated High Plains since its first report from South Dakota in 1922. In the early 1980s, the disease mysteriously disappeared, appearing only periodically on cull seeds at the processing plants, but with little economic damage.

However, the disease appeared again in two great northern dry bean fields in late August 2003 in the Gering Valley, shortly before harvest. I took dozens of pictures, assuming that I would never see it again. However, between 2004 and 2007 the pathogen was additionally identified from hundreds of fields from the central high plains causing severe, measurable yield reductions. Read more.

Proposals Being Accepted for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative

The Pulse Crop Health Initiative is seeking submissions for research proposals for fiscal year 2019 funding. The goal of the Initiative is to use cooperative research on pulse crops, including dry beans, to provide solutions to the critical health and sustainability challenges facing the United States and the global community. The Initiative is guided by a steering committee that includes commodity groups, food industry, the health and nutrition community and USDA/ARS representatives.

Examples of dry bean focused research projects funded in the last year include enhancing nutritional traits and an analysis of human health traits. There is approximately $2.4 million available for funding, and the deadline for submission of new project proposals is June 17.

More information on submission guidelines, average annual budgets for previously funded projects or a template for submission is available by contacting Mike Grusak at mike.grusak@ars.usda.gov .