This is a collaborative project with the University of Arkansas, USDA-ARS in Corvallis, Mississippi State University and NC State University. For my part of this project, we are evaluating elite germplasm from 3 breeding programs at the institutions listed above. We sent plants to each other that we considered candidates for release as cultivars and planted them in spring of 2011. These selections were tested for viruses prior to being sent out and were considered to be free of known viruses. Within a year of planting, most of the selections that we have in NC were showing symptoms as is illustrated in the photos. This are a couple of examples of what we saw in our field at the Sandhills Research Station in Jackson Springs NC in May. The upper photo has small crinkled leaves and the lower plant (a different selection) has yellowing of the leaves. This just shows how varied virus symptoms can be in the same location.
For more hot off the press information on the virus identification part of this project, here is a link to a poster that will be presented next week at the ASHS meeting http://ashs.org/abstracts/m/abstracts12/abstract_id_10149.html
More background information on this project can be found at http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/cgi-bin/starfinder/0?path=fastlink1.txt&id=anon&pass=&search=R=33882&format=WEBLINK