New ‘Focus on Cotton’ Webcast Discusses Whitefly Viruses, Leaf Curl

Memphis, TN - Whiteflies and the viruses they carry have been a large, complex, and economically significant problem for cotton growers throughout the world. Whiteflies pick up viruses from a range of host plants near cotton fields, transmit them to cotton plants, and can continue to do so throughout the rest of their lifetime. In the cases of cotton leaf curl virus and cotton leaf curl disease, this ends with all-too-common results: the curling of leaves, and/or the development of leaf-like enations on the undersides of leaves, overall stunting of the plant, and reduced yield and quality. 

In the latest ‘Focus on Cotton’ webcast, titled “Begomovirus-Whitefly Vector Complexes: Emerging Threats to Cotton-Vegetable Crop Biosecurity,” Professor Judith Brown from the University of Arizona educates growers, consultants, and applied scientists worldwide about the ins and outs of Begomoviruses, the cause of cotton leaf curl virus and a key component of the cotton leaf curl disease complex. 

This presentation focuses on the characteristics and history of cotton leaf curl disease, the diversity and distribution of the many begomoviral species and strains that comprise the complex, and the origins and extent of recent spread leaf curl virus. The talk also highlights measures that should be taken to safeguard cotton crops, including monitoring, reporting suspicious symptoms, particularly when the whitefly vector is or has been known to be present, and continuance of efforts to develop virus-resistant varieties for deployment in high risk areas. 

This presentation will be of particular interest to producers, plant breeders, consultants, and plant pathologists who work with cotton--as well as those involved with vegetables and ornamentals, which are also common whitefly hosts. 

The ‘Focus on Cotton’ resource now contains nearly 30 webcasts on various aspects of cotton crop management. These talks, freely accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, cover agronomic practices, crop protection, and ag engineering. ‘Focus on Cotton’ also features a new and improved Cotton Extension Search tool, where users can conveniently search for extension resources across all universities serving cotton producers. All of these resources are freely available courtesy of Cotton Incorporated at


Contact: Phil Bogdan, Plant Management Network, 651-994-3859, pbogdan [at] scisoc [dot] org; or Stacey Gorman, Cotton Board Director of Communications, 901-233-9356, sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org 

About Plant Management Network:  All subscription-based information on the Plant Management Network website can be accessed for one low $39 annual subscription fee. Plant Management Network,, is a cooperative not-for-profit resource for the applied agricultural and horticultural sciences. Together with more than 80 partners, which include land-grant universities, scientific societies, and agribusiness, PMN publishes quality, applied, and science-based information for the practitioner.  

About the Cotton Board: The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit