Control of Powdery Scab of Potato With Disease Suppressive Soils

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2022: $29,823.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2024
Host Institution Award ID: G131-23-W9212
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:
Ken Frost
Oregon State University, Hermiston Agricultural Research and Ext

Information Products


  • Agronomic: potatoes


  • Crop Production: cropping systems
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, disease vectors, integrated pest management, prevention, weather monitoring
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil microbiology

    Proposal abstract:

    Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) are the fourth most important food crop in the world and, in 2020 the total value of all potatoes sold Idaho, Oregon, and Washington was $1.82 billion. This proposal addresses powdery scab a potato blemish disease that results in losses to all market sectors of potato in all major production regions of the U.S. Powdery scab reduces potato aesthetics for directly marketed potatoes and through the transmission of potato mop-top virus (PMTV), a virus that causes tuber necrosis leading to rejection of potatoes used for processing. Complete host resistance to powdery scab is not available in commercially accepted varieties and no management tactics alone or in combination have successfully controlled all phases of the disease. In this project, we plan to use culture-free methods to characterize microbial communities in bulk and rhizosphere soils that are associated with reduced disease and may be responsible for powdery scab suppressive activity. Our research objectives are to 1) characterize the temporal dynamics of the potato rhizosphere microbiome through the growing season and in relation to powdery scab development and 2) assay soils for their ability to suppress powdery scab. Our goal is to identify biotic factors that are associated with disease suppressive activity of soil and identify and management practices that promote disease suppressive activity. Our educational objective is to engage growers in the project and communicate our findings to the stakeholder community, at grower education events, through the dissemination of extension publications, and the research community via peer-reviewed publications.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1: 

    Characterize the temporal dynamics of the potato rhizosphere microbiome through the growing season and in relation to powdery scab status.

    Objective 2: 

    Assay soils for their ability to suppress powdery scab by identifying abiotic and biotic factors associated with disease suppression and by identifying systems and/or management practices associated with reduced disease

    Objective 3 is to engage growers in project activities and outcomes and communicate research findings about powdery scab to the stakeholder and research community.

    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.