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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Emerging Foreign Fungal Plant Pathogens: Detection, Biology, and Interactions with Host Plants

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science

Project Number: 1920-22000-041-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 11, 2012
End Date: Apr 10, 2017

Objective:
1: Generate and utilize genomic sequence information of foreign fungal plant pathogens to develop diagnostic assays. 1.A - Develop accurate and rapid means for identification and detection of foreign fungal plant pathogens. 2: Determine the effects of temperature, moisture, and their interactions on the germination, growth, and survival of foreign fungal plant pathogens and development of disease. 2.A - Determine the effects of temperature and moisture on infection and development of disease. 2.B - Determine the effects of temperature and moisture on survival of foreign fungal plant pathogens. 3: Identify genes and proteins required for infection and pathogenicity of foreign fungal plant pathogens. 3.A - Determine genome organization and gene structure of foreign fungal plant pathogens. 3.B - Identify secreted proteins from foreign fungal plant pathogens. 4: Screen germplasm and identify resistance genes to foreign fungal plant pathogens. 4.A - Screen germplasm for resistance to foreign fungal plant pathogens. 4.B - Identify genes and pathways involved in resistance to foreign fungal plant pathogens.

Approach:
Genomic sequence information will be generated from foreign fungal plant pathogens and bioinformatic analyses will be conducted to identify genes and proteins. In addition, the genomic sequences will be mined to identify unique target sequences to develop rapid DNA-based diagnostic assays. Unique or pathogen-specific proteins will be identified and used to generate antibodies to develop immunodiagnostic assays. Putative secreted proteins identified from bioinformatic analyses will be evaluated using a yeast secretion assay. Temperature-controlled dew and growth chambers will be used to determine effects of dew-period temperatures and durations on establishment of infection and on pathogen survival. The number and size of lesions will be measured, and the amount of sporulation will be determined. For some diseases, plant sections will be examined histologically using both light and transmission electron microscopy for systemic infection to determine if the pathogen overwinters in infected tissue. Pathogenicity studies will be performed on selected plant species to determine host range and if the pathogen can survive winters in the absence of the primary host. Germplasm will be inoculated foreign fungal plant pathogens and screened for resistance.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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