Assessment of UV-C Radiation as an Integrative Pest Management Tool for the Management of Grape Powdery Mildew and Botrytis Bunch Rot

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2021: $30,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2023
Host Institution Award ID: G224-22-W8615
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:

Information Products


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Pest Management: chemical control, integrated pest management

    Proposal abstract:

    Management of grape powdery mildew requires great financial, environmental, public health costs due to a heavy reliance on fungicides e.g., 89% of the fungicide active ingredient used in grape production. New integrative pest management tools are needed to reduce the amount of fungicides applied to reduce environmental effects and mitigate the emergence and spread of fungicide resistance. Ultraviolet radiation C (UV-C) radiation may provide a new integrative management tool for the improved control of powdery mildew in grapes that addresses these goals. The proposed research will examine how UV-C radiation can be used as a replacement for, or to reduce or augment fungicide applications for grape powdery mildew and bunch rot management. We will also examine the use of autonomous robotic systems for the delivery of the UV-C irradiation treatments at a commercial scale. With commodity crops such as grapes, quality is a critical factor of the farm gate value, therefore the effects of UV-C applications on fruit chemistry will be determined by examining basic fruit chemistry and polyphenolic profiles. Finally, live demonstrations of the UV-C treatments arrays will be made in commercial vineyards receiving UV-C applications, results from both small plot and field scale management results will be made at various grower meetings in Oregon, Washington, and California, and plans for the construction of manual UV-C application unit will be made available to encourage the interest and adoption of the technology.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Identify the UV-C radiation dose and timing required to effectively manage grape powdery mildew and Botrytis bunch rot.
    2. Determine the suitability of UV-C radiation applications, under field conditions, for the management of powdery mildew and Botrytis bunch rot disease and its impact on fungicide resistant pathogen populations.
    3. Examine the suitability of an autonomous robotic platform to deliver UV-C applications at a commercial scale.
    4. Determine the impact of UV-C application on fruit chemistry
    5. Education and demonstration of the tractor mounted and robotic UV-C arrays directly to producers
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.