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Virginia Tech research team to improve boxwood blight prevention

December 1, 2020 -  By

Chuanxue Hong, project director and a professor in the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will lead a multi-institutional research team to find innovative methods to safeguard the nation’s largest evergreen shrub against boxwood blight, Virginia Tech said.

Boxwood blight is a fungal infection that is easily transported through the nursing industry by plants that don’t show any signs of infection.

The disease was first found in the U.S. in 2011 after being discovered in the U.K. and New Zealand in the mid-1990s. Currently, the disease is now in 28 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The $4 million grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will help researchers understand the pathogen that causes boxwood blight better as well as seek to prevent the diseases spread through resistant breeding and genetics as well as innovation and education.

The research team said it hopes to develop diagnostic kits, resistant cultivars, biologic controls and more. The team will also deploy recently developed technologies to provide economic analysis to promote the adoption of their findings.

Click here to read the complete story about the research project.

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