Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
Project Number: 1230-22000-022-00
Start Date: Apr 09, 2007
End Date: Apr 08, 2012
Characterize viruses of major significance to ornamental and nursery crops, including "new" currently uncharacterized or emerging viruses affecting key ornamental crops. The overall approach is to develop knowledge, tools, and reagents that will aid U.S. floriculture companies in establishing effective virus testing protocols that will improve clean stock production for new vegetatively propagated annuals and perennials. Research will initially focus on those "new" currently uncharacterized or emerging viruses affecting key ornamental crops recently identified as significant to the floral and nursery industry, including those infecting petunia, impatiens, phlox and pansy. Viruses of serious consequence identified as significant to the floral and nursery industry in key ornamental crops also include, but are not limited to: Arabis mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus, carlaviruses, carmoviruses, closteroviruses, fabaviruses, ilarviruses, pelarspoviruses, potexviruses, potyviruses, and tobamoviruses. Based on the knowledge and serological reagents, and molecular probes developed for the detection and management of diseases caused by the viruses characterized above, new virus-specific and broad-spectrum polyclonal and/or monoclonal antibody reagents, purification protocols, molecular nucleic acid hybridization probes, PCR primers, and improved associated protocols and diagnostic technologies will be developed. Determine the genome organization of selected important ornamental viruses and develop full-length infectious clones to determine the genes or gene products involved in pathogenicity. Understanding viral genome structures and functions, the mechanisms of pathogenicity, and the mechanisms of resistance in plants will lead to the development of better viral disease control measures and increases in both productivity and quality of ornamental plants. Develop improved tools and evaluate methodologies for the identification, detection, and control of bacterial diseases of major significance to woody and floral ornamental crops. Conduct research on the host range and environmentally friendly control of bacterial wilt disease of geranium caused by the select agent pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum race 3, biovar 2. Conduct research on the identification and detection of Xylella fastidiosa in ornamental crops, study the genetic relationships among strains of X. fastidiosa, and determine the pathogenetic relationships between ornamental and non-ornamental strains of X. fastidiosa.