The small fruit virology program has three major objectives. The first is to characterize viruses of small fruit crops and develop diagnostic tests for those viruses that still require grafting for detection.The tests are shared with colleagues around the world that work with small fruit viruses and are evaluated against as wide a collection of isolates of the virus as possible.If all isolates of the virus are detected, the tests are made available to certification program managers or quarantine officials.
The second objective is to study the epidemiology of these viruses with the goal of developing control strategies based on cultural practices or the use of chemicals to control vectors if necessary.This involves identifying vectors of a virus and the type and timing of transmission to optimize the targeted use of pesticides.
The third objective is to develop resistance to viruses of small fruit crops by making use of genetic engineering. We are also trying to identify and clone host virus resistance genes so that host genes or viral genes can be deployed when engineering resistant plants.