Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
2010 Annual Report
Progress was made towards the utilization of grapevine virus-specific probes from the Universal Plant Virus Microarray design in a macroarray format. The ability to control plant viral and viroid diseases requires the ability to correctly detect and identify the virus or viroid, and thus obtain knowledge about the likely vectors or other means of transmission. The ability to assign a previously uncharacterized virus to a known taxonomic group allows inference of many important characters, and the selection of appropriate methods to obtain further specific sequence information to develop specific detection and identification reagents. The first step in developing a Universal Plant Virus Microarray (UPVM) is to design and select oligonucleotide probes that will collectively provide information allowing identification of isolates of a previously characterized virus to the correct species, and of a previously uncharacterized species to the correct genus or family. A collaborating scientist at the University of Utah designed a set of oligonucleotides, each 60 nucleotides in length, and selected a subset of 9,392 oligonucleotides as the initial UPVM core probe set. From within this UPVM core set, those probes specific for viruses affecting grapevine were synthesized and included in a nylon membrane-based macroarray, and evaluated against amplified labeled extracts of various infected grapevines. The UPVM probes were observed to detect several grapevine viruses as expected based on predicted hybridization patterns. This information will be of most immediate application to the UPVM collaborators, but will also be of value to regulatory agencies, plant diagnostic clinics, germplasm repositories, and producers operating plant certification schemes.
Communications to monitor progress were carried out by e-mail and conference calls between the various partners, by a group meeting during the Annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, and by written and oral reports to the NRI Plant Biosecurity Program.