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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES FOR MANAGING DISEASES OF TEMPERATE FRUIT CROPS

Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this project is to develop novel, biologically-based disease-control strategies for temperate fruit crops in order to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. This will be done by identifying microbial antagonists that are effective against latent and wound-induced infections of stone fruit, determining the genetic factors that make the brown rot pathogen so virulent by comparing host response to pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms, and determining the role of fungal polygalacturonases as a virulence factor for postharvest infections of pear and peach.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The project will utilize a broad range of approaches to develop new biologically-based methods of postharvest disease control. Naturally-occurring yeasts and bacteria will be isolated from stone fruit and screened for activity against latent and wound-induced infections of stone fruit caused by the brown-rot organism, Monolinia fructicola. As part of the evaluation, select microbes will be tested for their ability to degrade melanized fungal structures such as appressoria using a model membrane system. Subtractive-suppressive hybridization of cDNA libraries will also be utilized to better understand the genetic basis of resistance mechanisms in stone fruit. This will be done by comparing host response at different developmental stages to both pathogens and non-pathogens. Lastly, the role of fungal polygalacturonases (PGs) as a virulence factor will be studied by utilizing recombinant antibody technology. The effect of the recombinant antibodies on conidial germination and the infection process will be evaluated.


4.Accomplishments
New Project, initiated March, 2007.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of web sites managed2
Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings5
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences1

Review Publications
Stevens, C., Khan, V.A., Wilson, C.L., Lu, J.Y., Pusey, P.L., Bassett, C.L., Igwegbe, E., Wisniewski, M.E., Chalutz, E., Droby, S., El Ghaouth, A. 2006. The use of low dose UV-C light technology to control postharvest storage decay and delayed ripening and senescence of fruits and vegetables. In: Noureddine, B. and Norio, S., editors. Recent Advances in Postharvest Technologies of Horticultural Crops. Chapter 9. Kerala, India: Research Signpost. p. 195-237.

Wisniewski, M.E., Wilson, C.L., Droby, S., Chalutz, E., El Ghaouth, A., Stevens, C. 2007. Postharvest biocontrol: New concepts and applications. In: Vincent, C., Goettel, M.S., and Lazarovits, G., editors. Biological Control: A Global Perspective. Boca Raton, FL: CAB International. p. 262-273.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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