Project Number: 1931-22000-009-03
Start Date: Sep 15, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2014
Microbes will be isolated from soil and vegetation samples in the vicinity of the Uruguayan research station located on King George’s Island, Antarctica. Emphasis will be placed on obtaining yeast species using selective media. DNA obtained from isolates in pure cultures will be sent to the USDA-ARS, Kearneysville, WV, who will perform genetic sequencing of ribosomal genes in order to assist in the taxonomic identification of the microbial isolates. Evaluation of selected strains for their potential as postharvest biocontrol agents will be conducted on apple and citrus by the University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay. USDA-ARS will receive the yeast isolates and extract extracellular and cell wall materials, and determine if they have cryoprotective and biostimulant properties. The University of the Republic will conduct in-depth assessments of "elite" antagonists identified during the preliminary evaluations and conduct mode-of-action studies. USDA-ARS will provide guidance in the design of these experiments and the interpretation of the results.