Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus Research

I’m Melissa Irizarry i’m working with
Darren Mueller and Steve Witham here in the Plant Pathology Department and we
are working on soybean vein necrosis virus and vector Thrips. Thrips are a
tiny little insect that basically just move the virus from plant to plant. We
are working on three basic questions to answer about Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus
or SVNV. The first one is there any yield loss associated with the virus in
the field? And the second one, is there any alternative plant hosts where the
virus may be overwintering here in the state, or perhaps serving as a source of
inoculum for the soybean fields. And then thirdly, we’re monitoring the movements
of the Thrips in the state to see when they’re arriving each spring, as well as
what species are present. Soybeans Vein Necrosis Virus is a relatively new virus
and it has really spread across the United States very quickly, but yet
there’s very little still known about it, and we’re hoping that by answering these
questions, the research will be able to better prepare soybean growers here in
the state to be able to respond to any potential impact that SVNV might have
on their crop. Over the course of the past year we have collected Thrips at
five Iowa State Research Farms across the state. We’re using yellow sticky
cards and we’ve brought those back to lab, we have about 500 of them over the
course of the entire summer, and now we are counting the number of Thrips, and
then also identifying a subsample of that to species level. I have a colony
of soybean Thrips in the greenhouse right now that I’m raising, and we are preparing to inoculate using those Thrips and mechanical inoculation
methods, plants such as cover crops and weeds to see if any of them can serve
a host for the virus. I’m very thankful for ISA for funding this project. It’s
been a great opportunity and I’ve learned so much and I think it’s really
helped me decide what direction I want to go with the rest of my career.