Elizabeth Bush

Senior Research Associate

I am currently involved with several Extension-related research projects:

I am involved in two three-year projects within the Virginia IPM Program: Protecting Our Farms, Structures and Recreational Lands, funded through the National Institute for Agriculture’s Crop Protection and Pest Management Extension Implementation Program. IPM Support for Pest Diagnostic Facilities (Co-PI, M.A. Hansen) focuses on accurate pest identification for implementing appropriate pest avoidance, mitigation and control tactics in commercial crop production, as well as in home landscapes and gardens. IPM on Recreational Lands (Co-PI, David McCall): One of the primary diseases of bermudagrass, which is increasingly prevalent on Virginia athletic fields and golf fairways, is spring dead spot (SDS). This fungal disease causes a patch that is often sunken an inch or more. This creates an uneven playing surface that is a serious concern for injury risk. Using species-level pathogen information, along with survey results and previous and ongoing research results, we will develop SDS recommendations and deliver turf managers the tools they need to reduce negative effects from this serious problem.

Southern Plant Diagnostic Network—Virginia Diagnostic and Information Technology, National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), National Institute for Agriculture. The mission of the NPDN is to enhance national agricultural security by quickly detecting introduced pests and pathogens. This grant supports diagnostic infrastructure for rapid detection and diagnosis of plant pathogens, response strategy, training and diagnostic data collection to the NPDN national repository.

Preliminary data collection to understand Pierce's Disease ecosystem in Virginia (PI: M. Nita; Co-PIs: E. Bush, M.A. Hansen, and D. Pfeiffer): Pierce’s Disease is a vascular disease of grapes caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xf).  Xf is vectored by xylem-feeding sharpshooters in the southeastern US. In 2013 we surveyed VA vineyards for Pierce’s disease. Now we are gathering preliminary data on vectors (e.g. association of Xf with sharpshooters, identification of vector species). Additionally, we are monitoring of Xf titer changes within an infected vine over the course of a season for a second year.

Education

M.S., Life Sciences: Plant Pathology, 2002

B.S., Horticulture, Virginia Tech, 1996

Experience

  • June 2009 – present: Research Associate Senior, Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • February 2005 – May 2009: Research Associate, Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • October 2002 – February 2005: Lab Specialist, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • January 2000 – May 2002: Graduate Research Assistant, Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • March 1998 – Jan. 2000: Lab Technician Senior, Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

I am a diagnostician and co-manager in the Plant Disease Clinic, which is a service lab to Virginia Cooperative Extension and member lab of the National Plant Diagnostic Network. Accurate plant diagnosis is essential for implementing appropriate disease avoidance, mitigation and control tactics in commercial crop production, as well as in home landscapes and gardens. I also oversee the Clinic’s molecular biology laboratory and give talks to Master Gardener and other Extension groups.

Recent Publications

Bush, E., Hansen, M. A., Dart, N., Hong. C., Bordas, A., Likins, T. M. May 2014. Best management practices for boxwood blight in the Virginia home landscape. VCE publication #PPWS-29NP. Online: http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/PPWS/PPWS-29/PPWS-29.html .

Bush, E., Hansen, M. A., Dart, N., Hong. C., Bordas, Baudoin, A., Avenot, H., A., Likins, T. M. Boxwood Blight Task Force Website. May 2014. VCE publication #PPWS-30. Online: http://www.ext.vt.edu/topics/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/boxwood-blight/index.html .

Bush, E. and Yoder, K. 2014. Monilinia (brown rot of stone fruit). Bugwood Wiki Diagnostic Series. Online: http://wiki.bugwood.org/Diagnostic_Resources  (More diagnostic resources)

Vargas-Asencio, J.; McLane, H., Bush, E.and Perry, K. L. 2013. Spinach latent virus infecting tomato in Virginia, USA. Plant Disease “First Look”. Online http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-05-13-0529-PDN, posted 7/24/13.

Frazier, T., Shen, Z., Bush, E. A. and Zhao, B. 2012.  First Report of Puccinia emaculata Infection on Switchgrass in Virginia. Plant Disease "First Look". http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/PDIS-09-12-0814-PDN , posted 10/17/2012.

Bush, E. 2012. Integrated Pest Management for Plant Diseases in the Home Garden and Landscape: Integrated Pest Management. Virginia Cooperative Extension #14NP. Video online http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/PPWS/PPWS-14/PPWS-14.html

Bush, E. 2012. Integrated Pest Management for Plant Diseases in the Home Garden and Landscape: The Plant Disease Triangle. Virginia Cooperative Extension #15NP. Video online http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/PPWS/PPWS-15/PPWS-15.html

Bush, E., Rideout, S. and Waldenmaier, C. 2012. Late Blight of Tomato and Potato. Virginia Cooperative Extension #ANR-6. Online http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/ANR/ANR-6/ANR-6.html .

Oliver, C. L., Cai, R., Vinatzer, B. A., Bush, E. A., and Hansen, M. A. 2011. First Report of Bacterial Leaf Spot of Peony Caused by Xanthomonas sp. in the U. S. Plant Disease 96(4):581.

Dart, N., Hansen, M. A., Bush, E. and Hong, C. 2011. Boxwood Blight: A New Disease of Boxwood Found in the Eastern U.S. Online http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/PPWS/PPWS-4/PPWS-4.html

Elizabeth Bush
  • (540) 231-8020
  • ebush@vt.edu
  • 101G Price Hall
    Mail code: 0331
    170 Drillfield Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061