Rose Rosette Disease (Mary Shelley)

sandandsun(9a FL)June 26, 2012

Mary was certainly a brilliant woman.

Does anyone know Kudzu? Just one glaring example to start. If you don't remember its origins it was promoted as an erosion control agent by....

For a refresher or new knowledge, see:

I just read this article published by the University of West Virginia in 2000. See link below. It documents how Rose Rosette Disease was studied in the wild and how it was a hoped for natural remedy, or as the title says a "biological control agent" for multiflora roses.

How do we get the *&^!@#@! people who think this way out of positions of influence and power in our curricula, extension agencies, government, etc.?

Here is a link that might be useful: Biological Control Agents of Multiflora Rose

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sandandsun(9a FL)

The national flower of the United States. Due to lack of early biological control of an incurable rose disease Congress established a new national flower after roses became extinct in the US in the 21st century (wiped out by Rose Rosette Disease).

The kudzu link is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: kudzu

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:23PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

Some of you may not like to hear it, but these are the unintended consequences of people reluctant to use those nasty chemicals.

Chemicals (Bayer, etc.) undergo rigid scrutiny and exhaustive testing before they're ever brought to market. Even then, you've got the constant detractors and mistrusting folk who firmly "know" that they still must be unsafe.

Someone comes up with a "biological" idea, everyone jumps on it, it gets implemented (with little or no control), and we pay for the consequences for decades or longer.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:08PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Chemicals have unintended consequences, too. Remember DDT?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:20AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

It gets worse if you consider that the multiflora was also promoted and supplied by the government (as a natural fence).

Meanwhile, I once planted morning glory by my mailbox post. in the NE it's a nice mannerly plant. In Georgia...well let's just say my neighbor asked me why I planted Kudzu.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:24AM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

Morning Glory is Kudzu?... I think morning glorys are pretty

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Jeri is right about DDT

We have zone in our yard where the former owner used to drown trees with it. 50 years later things are starting to grow.

But here in Coastal SoCal, the big difference is back in the early 70's it was worth pulling to the side of the hwy to watch a pelican go by, there were only a few left. Same thing for dolphins, it was a treat to see one. Decades later, we can walk the beach and watch the flocks of pelicans and the dolphins pass by just off shore.

Does make you wonder about bees. Especially, when you see them fall from the air dead.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:54AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

In the following linked site, there are numerous disturbing pieces of information.
There is so much that is nauseating to read that I am having difficulty digesting it all.

To point out just a few:
A quote attributed to Dr. Zary recommending that hybridizers only work with resistant species, the cited release of the vectoring mites by two states, and the list of roses already documented to be vulnerable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Rosette Disease

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:09AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

I was particularly struck by the listing of 'Peace' on the effected roses list. As our modern hybridizer, Jim Sproul, tells us in the link below: Peace "figures into the lineages of a great many of the modern roses on the market today."

Similarly, there have been reports here about Knockouts contracting the virus. And like Peace I believe many hybridizers are trying to introduce the Knockout genes to their breeding lines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Meeting Alain Meilland

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:50PM
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sandandsun has posted a very useful link, thank you. However, I suggest that the list inclusion of a particular variety as susceptible be taken with a grain of salt if the inclusion was based on visible symptons only (i.e. not on the graft transmission test). Now that the virus has been identified, an immunosorbant assay test should be available (hopefully) soon.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 1:25PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

The approach is a bit upside down. Roses are susceptible to RRD, except for a few species of North American origin and maybe a few more roses TBD, and probably bred from the resistant species. By contrast there are maybe ten thousand susceptible varieties. So listing a thousand susceptible varieties doesn't add much information. We need to know about the resistant ones.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 2:46PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Jessica, in our part of Southern California, where the average number of winter chill hours is ZERO, Morning Glory can, indeed, put on a Kudzu-like takeover of a garden.

It takes no time at all for the stuff to cover every plant in a garden with an undulating blanket of its undeniably lovely leaves and flowers. It will kill everything in its path, given time.

It isn't Kudzu, but . . . it does quite a good imitation.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:21PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I'm not here to sing the praises of DDT, but here's an unintended consequence of outlawing its use: many third world countries had eradicated malaria by using DDT against the anopheles mosquito. Since then, pressure by the U.S. and other first world countries to outlaw DDTs use has resulted in the unintended consequence of millions of people, including children, to become infected with malaria again. No substitute as effective against the anopheles mosquito, the malarial vector, has been found. Things are always more complicated than they seem at first, I guess. Diane

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:11PM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

I tend to think that (as with nearly everything) the best results are achieved with a proper balance, and not with a black or white, all-or-nothing approach.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:00AM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

Ah ha I see thanks Jeri. Honeysuckle can take over also, my step mom and father in law has honeysuckle growing on a old barn that they want to tear down anyways she cuts it to the ground every year (she said..) in the fall but I was just over there a week or so ago and it was massive, it looked like it has been there a while..

Sorry I tend to veer off topic..

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:46AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

How do we get the *&^!@#@! people who think this way out of positions of influence and power in our schools, colleges, universities, extension agencies, government, etc.?

There are mistakes and then there are atrocities. The link below should help clarify my point about this kind of thinking. This kind of thinking is not from minds which make understandable mistakes or environmentalists attempting to be good stewards.

Here is a link that might be useful: Experiment

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:31AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Jessica, yes in NY State (where I grew up) and Ohio, Morning glory is a nice plant with pretty flowers. Here in Georgia, at least the variety I planted went berzerk and appeared to be kudzu (I don't think they are related). Even now, 8 years after I last let it grow, I still have hundreds of seedlings that pop up ever year. I do let the native MG grow, it's a bit less invasive and doesn't put out as many seedlings every year.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:25PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

or what jeri said :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:27PM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

We get those folks by rewarding poor decisions. Come to Illinois, the land of healthy pensions for criminal legislators, where Morning Glory is less of a threat than your local congressman.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:42PM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

^^^ HAHAHA ^^^

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:07PM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

Thanks Buford :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:09PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Chemicals used sparingly when all else fails in cases like kudzu can make sense. But this is the opposite of everyone using chemicals to weed their gardens.
Around here gardeners planted creeping bell flower because it grows and blooms even in deep shade. Nothing kills it tbat i know - it's immune.

The bell flower takes over and it is trying, always, to come back in all my beds, which i dug it out of. It's in my yard-(-it becomes a turf plant- it's taking over golf courses who rarely shy from chemicals)
I finally relented and had a lawn chemical Company (senske) try to kill it with their broadleaf sprays one spring, summer and fall. The next year they sprayed it 3 times with glyphosate (round up) in some very strong formulation. Nothing grows there now but reepong BF because It's come back only a year later. Hand digging out the tuberous roots and sifting the dirt for roots is the Only control i've found works. I believe It's become immune to the chemicals from overuse.
Overuse of chemicals is as beneficial ultimately as overuse of antibiotics- you'll end up with worse problems at some point down the road ...and herbicides are toxic. Often chemicals are crutches used to avoid better garden habits like hand weeding.
As for malaria- it's drug resistant now and the mosquitos quickly develop resistance to insecticides in recent studies of insecticide impregnated nets (they came back stronger) so it's unlikely DDT would have ever wiped iout mosquitos- theyre everywhere- if it wasnt banned because it was killing other things more.

...I hate to see my neighbor grab his big costco sprayer of biretherine (sp?) to kill a spider he could easily step on - while he chats with my family- including our young child. He has no concern of it at all. Like it's water??
P The kudzu mistake is unique in that they wanted it to thrive and take over. Luckily, due to better science and education- we are aware and alert to invasive species moreso than ever before.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:55PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

The chemical discussions contrasted with the living matter make for an interesting distinction.

Chemicals can be avoided or banned.

Living things like the kudzu, the creeping bellflower, etc. keep reproducing.

And viruses, like H1N1 for example - no, sorry - I meant like the Rose Rosette Disease virus, don't have regional boundaries/limits like morning glory or kudzu.

The chart of RRD susceptible roses in the link below (previously given) also lists the states where the disease was observed. It didn't look like any part of the continental US was safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Rosette Disease

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:02PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

The problem is our human inability to admit our impatience to sufficiently test for long-term consequences. Recall the hormone therapy that was going to save women from the horrors of menopause. Then it turns out to it ups the rate of cancer. We think the little car jaunt to the grocery won't matter, that a third child is okay if you can afford it, that the cute cat toy or adorable knick-knack or nifty tool we'll never use doesn't add up. The people who introduced multiflora and the people who introduced RRD to get rid of it aren't doing anything differently from what each of us does every day: living just for today.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:37PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Kudzu, R. multiflora, starlings, and tilapia were introduced before ecological thinking was widespread. People didn't understand how to think about these things. But there is no excuse for the RRD blunder by Iowa State ag scientists. They simply assumed without evidence that the only consequence would be a reduction of multiflora stands. A few weeks of low-cost experimenting with garden roses would have warned them away.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:28AM
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I attended the lecture that they gave at an early National ACS meeting. They did do some spread studies.

"Risk of Infection
in Ornamental Rose Cultivars
The risk of RRD infection of ornamental
roses as a result of augmentation is low.
Disease gradients from local sources were
very steep, with no spread beyond 100 m
(Fig. 15). Symptoms did not occur in rose
plants in plots located 150 to 300 m from
the inoculum source during the first 3 years
after augmentation (18). Four to 5 years
after augmentation, no symptoms were
observed on ornamental rose plants planted
at 20-m intervals from the inoculum
source. This was coincident with a decline
in vector populations on symptomatic
plants 4 to 5 years after augmentation.
Rates of RRD infection are very low in
nonaugmented pastures. The RRD infection
rates range from 5 to 10 times lower
than infection rates characteristic of plant
viruses in agricultural crops. In augmented
pastures, RRD infection rates are approximately
five times lower than rates characteristic
of plant viruses (18,27). Since RRD
is endemic in Iowa, local augmentation increases
the rate of RRD spread locally
(within 100 m) but does not increase the
risk of long-distance spread (18). In addition,
because the natural rate of infection is
low, the removal of local sources of inoculum
(i.e., roguing RRD-infected plants),
when they occur within ornamental plantings,
effectively prevents RRD epidemics
in these plantings (17). Surveys conducted
over a 5-year period (1992 to 1997) revealed
that the annual natural RRD infection
rate in ornamental rose plantings was
approximately one infection per 1,200
plants. Prompt removal of these initially
infected plants should prevent secondary
buildup of mites and subsequent increase
of RRD infections (A. H. Epstein, unpublished

Here is a link that might be useful: link for

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 3:58PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

So we all know about H1N1. And most of us know about H5N1.
Both are influenza viruses.
Both are viruses.
Paraphrasing/summarizing from the wiki website:
H5N1 is currently thought to be one of the greatest threats to humans if it adapts to human transmission successfully (see reference to the Spanish flu of 1918 where at least 3% of the world population died). The key point here is that H5N1's offspring could be more lethal than the Spanish Flu.

For goodness sake, what does flu have to do with Rose Rosette Disease?

The reason for the scientific concern about the bird flu virus is that the rate at which viruses mutate (evolve/adapt) is reasonably fast. (Annual Flu shot)

Although the information in the link below on the discovery/isolation of the virus at the Universtiy of Arkansas is presented as good news (and it is), the discoverer is quoted as saying that if the mites are present the disease "spreads like wildfire" particularly as we know among multiflora.

The mites can't be seen with my very good reading glasses - no, they require a microscope to be seen.

The economic impact of this truly makes it atrocious. What will the diagnostic testing cost? Will diagnostic testing be available over the counter for gardeners? How much will that cost?

What will it cost the already shrinking industry?

This should never have been allowed/encouraged to spread. And I worry that we haven't learned the proper lessons and don't have the proper controls in place to prevent similar events in the future. (not to mention: what's really being done now to stop/control this?)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose rosette virus good news

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:42PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

So, what does all this have to do with Mary Shelley?


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:43AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Lots of folks are reporting actual or suspected cases of Rose Rosette Disease.

Preparedness is like that ounce of prevention, but not half as good. But since there seems to be no prevention, per se, I've been thinking about being prepared.

The report is that the mites that carry the Rose Rosette Disease are microscopic - we can't see them. We can only see the resulting infection they inflict.

If (or lord help me when) I see RRD, my first action (weather cooperating, of course) will be to spray the tender growth on EVERY rose I have with insecticidal soap. Or maybe I should say I would do that concurrently with the removal of the infected stock. The roses and I will survive the possible leaf burn a lot easier than RRD. I don't think insecticidal soap discriminates based on visibility!

I want to share this because if you've already got it or had it, then the mites that brought it might still be around. I'd eliminate that possibility to the best of my ability!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:58PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Well, it seems like only yesterday that I was writing that there is no prevention, per se, for RRD. In the Colonial District Roses article (linked in a post in the thread I link to below), the consulting rosarian, Charles Shaner, states that THERE IS a method of prevention for RRD. He names frequent spraying with a miticide called AVID.

I checked on that.

Eight (8) ounces for $110. plus shipping and possibly tax.

OR a quart for $229. plus shipping, tax, etc.

So an ounce of prevention costs how much?

Here is a link that might be useful: Archived RRD Thread with links

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:17PM
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minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

So, the link between RRD and Mary Shelley is that RRD is a Frankenstein disease? I'm completely in the dark here.

There is and always will be a frightening amount of arrogance and hubris in the world, causing people to do things we find later on to be amazingly stupid. A lot of it is caused by sheer laziness, sad to say. And it leaves our descendents picking up the pieces...

I still don't understand why Mary Shelley is in the title!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 9:46PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Charles may be reporting that avid is a preventative measure, but it is NOT.

I have a friend who is a 'sprayer' and who has been using Avid for at least seven years. She still looses roses to RRD every year.

Avid may kill some of the mites that vector RRD, but hasn't been proven in tests to do so. It's suggested to be a usable miticide because it is one of the few miticides approved to kill Eriophyid mites. There are thousands upon thousands of species within the grouping of "Eriophyid mites". Some miticides will kill one species in a genus, but not others (Check out the huge book of Eriophyidae through interlibrary loan for specifics.)

The problem is (and remains), the disease can be vectored by a single mite and even if that single mite is killed by feeding on a rose, the disease may have already been spread.

Accession time for a similar disease of peaches, also spread by eriophyid mite is fifteen minutes of feeding.

Remember that, that IS important.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:52PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Just another example.

The complete quote: "They were originally introduced to southern US states more than three decades ago to control algal build-up in sewage treatment plants."

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicago goes to war with Asian carp

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:51PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

It should be a reminder that science does not have all the answers, probably because it's being interpreted by humans. And humans can convince themselves of things that scientifically don't make sense. A good scientist is always open to thinking differently, even in the face of evidence.

I get the Shelly reference. Dr. Frankenstein thought he was doing a good thing. But it turned into a disaster.

I've been thinking of this in relation to our modern diet. In our quest to have cheap food (so people don't starve, a good thing!) we have basically bred all the nutrition out of our food. It's calorie dense and nutritionally deficient. So we have a bunch of obese people who are, for lack of a better word, suffering from malnutrition. And what will it cost us in healthcare for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.

And I do think rosetom's point that people attribute only bad to chemical or manufactured products and only good to 'natural' ones. There are plenty of 'bad' natural things. The scientists that found the RRD virus thought it was great because it was 'natural'.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:35AM
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Really....RRV was never used as a control method nor was it introduced from anywhere. It has been around the U.S. since at least the 1940s.

Was it likely spread by the use of multiflora as fences and such?

Sure. But being mad about that would make as much sense as being mad 20 years from now if we discover that something we can't currently detect that is found on say Knock Outs, causes all other roses to die.

Multiflora as a fence was a conservation idea and it works quite well if the person who uses it is willing to maintane it. Have there been things introduced that back fired? Sure. But the list of invasive and devasting ecosystem criters that have come here on their own is a far longer list:
Japanese Beetles
Fire Ants
Raspberry Ants
Africanized Bees
Cactus Moths
Asian Citrus Psylid
Mistle toe
Water Hyacinth
Snake Heads
Armored Catfish
Formosen Termites
etc etc etc.

Do Chemicals have a place? Yes.
Should they be used exclusively or all the time-probably not but that is your decision.

The above linked article was an uninformed paper from 2000 and I haven't been able to find any evidence that people ever used RRV as a control method. He was writing as it showed promise as a possible control method.

In case you don't realize how this works currently, they test it extensively in controlled situations prior to using it as a commercial control. They have been testing a parasitic wasp to control fire ants for over a decade and still haven't released them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:24PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Just another example.

"The Africanized honey bees in the Western Hemisphere are of mixed descent from 26 Tanganyikan queen bees of A. m. scutellata, accidentally released by a replacement bee-keeper in 1957 near Rio Claro, São Paulo, in the southeast of Brazil, from hives operated by biologist Warwick E. Kerr, who had interbred honey bees from Europe and southern Africa."

They didn't get here on their own.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:31PM
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They got all the way from Sao Paulo to the US on their own

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:23PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Check my ebook about Rose Rosette. It details the intentionally spread by amplification of RRD to 'control' multiflora.
One of the final chapters in the ebook is a fairly thorough bibliography. Especially check out the papers by Epstein and Hill at Iowa State.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Rosette Ebook

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:56PM
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At one point, I heard that the NJ highway dept was spraying RRD to control multiflora along state highways. Was that just a nasty rumor?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:42PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I haven't heard that about NJ and I doubt it (as RRD really doesn't lend itself to spraying.)
There is a plant disease note for Maryland where two scientists announced that they had successfully gotten RRD to take in Maryland by graft augmentation. To my hypersensitive reading, they were really pleased with what they had done.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:36AM
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