CHARACTERIZING, DETECTING, AND ELIMINATING PATHOGENS FOR THE SAFE INTRODUCTION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Project Number: 1275-22000-244-00
Start Date: Mar 20, 2007
End Date: Mar 19, 2012
Investigate pathogens and diseases of quarantine significance that occur in clonal plant germplasm that must enter the U.S. through federal quarantine programs. Characterize poorly described pathogens and diseases of quarantined crops that limit entry and distribution of plant germplasm. Enhance testing of quarantine crops for known pathogens by developing detection methods that represent improvements in sensitivity, speed, and reliability when compared to currently used procedures. Develop tools to effectively eliminate pathogens of quarantine significance to facilitate the availability of pathogen-free germplasm to stakeholders in a safe and timely fashion. Transfer research data, methods, and protocols to USDA-APHIS to support testing programs and science-based regulatory decisions.
Conduct research to identify new methodologies and protocols for diagnostic testing of quarantined plant germplasm, with an emphasis on molecular techniques, to shorten the duration material is held in quarantine and increase the reliability of indexing programs. Determine the etiology of poorly described quarantine diseases using a wide range of greenhouse and laboratory techniques. Conduct molecular characterization studies of quarantine pathogens and investigate their genetic diversity in order to refine testing methods. Develop protocols for the in vitro cultivation of prohibited genera germplasm and the therapeutic elimination of quarantine pathogens, thereby salvaging valuable and sometimes unique and endangered germplasm. Transfer research data, protocols, and products to USDA-APHIS for incorporation into testing and regulatory programs.