Research focuses primarily on new or emerging plant pathogens which are not yet established in the U.S. and which must be kept under containment. Studies include 1) identification and control of pathogens which pose a potential threat to American agriculture and 2) use of foreign pathogens for biological control of introduced weeds. Primary objective of the research on disease threatening pathogens is to develop accurate methods for rapid identification and exclusion. The unit also assists in developing controls to compromise the impact of the disease, if established. The primary objective of the weed biocontrol research is to find pathogens not present in the U.S. but which are keeping the target weed under natural control in its native habitat. Studies are conducted on molecular and pathological characterization to assure safe release. The overall goal of the weed research is to support sustainable agriculture by assisting American agriculture in eliminating its reliance on chemicals for control of weeds. Research is conducted in support of other U.S. Government Agencies that require containment or which need assistance in answers to emergency situations concerning new diseases.