BIOLOGY AND EPIDEMIOLOGY OF EMERGING PLANT PATHOGENIC OOMYCETES
Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science
Project Number: 1920-22000-036-00
Start Date: Jun 19, 2007
End Date: May 21, 2012
Oomycete plant pathogens cause a wide range of serious diseases of great concern to U.S. agriculture, and some are of recent emergence or reemergence. Obtaining knowledge of the biology, taxonomy, ecology, and pathology of selected diseases caused by members of this group is key to developing improved management practices and pest risk assessments which will allow damage caused by such diseases to be reduced. Our first objective is to determine basic knowledge of the biology, taxonomy, ecology, and pathology of selected Oomycete pathogens as the basis for development of improved control/management strategies and pest risk assessments. Our second objective is to determine the response of selected host species to inoculation with selected Oomycete pathogens to determine susceptibility of plant species of agricultural and commercial importance as well as naturally occurring plant species. Our proposed studies will focus on sudden oak death caused by Phytophthora ramorum and brown stripe downy mildew of maize caused by Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae. Attainment of our objectives will benefit U.S. agriculture by contributing new knowledge regarding biology, infectivity, spread potential, and survival ability of destructive Oomycete pathogens thus facilitating the development of improved regulatory, management, and control strategies.
Research will be conducted utilizing specialized containment facilities to investigate critical biological factors required to develop improved identification, detection, monitoring, and management strategies for selected Oomycete plant pathogens. We will obtain isolates of selected pathogens and perform containment greenhouse, growth chamber, and laboratory experiments to elucidate their biology, taxonomy, ecology, and pathology. Pathogenicity studies will be performed on selected host plant species to determine levels of susceptibility to emerging Oomycete pathogens.