2013 Annual Report
Objective 2: Develop methods for improved manipulation and expression of transgenes in key tropical/subtropical ornamental and fruit crop species. [NP 301, C4, PS 4A]
Objective 3: Evaluate biotechnology risk and develop methods for practical adoption of selected transgenic crops. [NP 301, C4, PS 4C]
Increased genome coverage and assembly of genetically engineered (GE), virus resistant SunUp papaya genome compared to the previous draft genome assembly was achieved. The improved SunUp papaya genome assembly will serve as a molecular and bioinformatic resource for papaya cultivar identification, characterization and selection for the development of improved disease resistance, production and fruit quality of papaya, an important economic and nutritional fruit crop in Hawaii and in other subtropical and tropical regions of the world.
In a cooperative effort led by ARS researchers at Hilo, Hawaii, biosafety and other formal regulatory requirements were completed and import for human consumption of fresh (GE) Rainbow (line 55-1 derivatives) papaya fruit into Japan was granted by the Japanese government in December, 2011, followed by initial shipments by Hawaii growers/shippers. The import and marketing of GE Rainbow papaya in Japan will support the US Hawaiian Papaya industry by increasing US market share lost due to production decrease caused by the industry wide onslaught of the papaya ringspot virus in the 1990’s and represents one of the first fresh GE products from the US, accepted and marketed in Japan.
Hot water drenches were evaluated and found to control reniform nematodes in potted dracaena. A PCR technique was designed to analyze the gut contents of predatory and omnivorous nematodes. An in-vitro rearing method was developed for Neoactinolaimus sp., a predatory nematode with potential as a biological control agent against plant-parasitic nematodes. In 2013, chemical pesticides were evaluated for their efficacy in controlling burrowing nematodes in anthurium fields. A survey was conducted of natural populations of insect-parasitic nematodes that exist in Hawaiian soils. A new species of Heterorhabditis, an entomopathogenic nematode used in biological control of insect pests, was discovered.
Research to provide information on genome sizes, chloroplast DNA sequence and biochemical composition of floral pigments in Anthurium cultivars and accessioned species were initiated to obtain baseline information lacking in this group of plants. Newly available baseline molecular and biochemical information will serve as a reference platform for further development of biochemical resources and molecular tools for cultivar and species characterization, selection and production of new cultivars using traditional and modern genetic engineering approaches to support the ornamental and flower industry. In 2013, further refinement of methods for detection, determination and comparison of floral pigments and related compounds across commercial Anthurium cultivars and species were achieved in collaboration with researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, College of Pharmacy.
Cabos, R.Y.M., Tsang, M., Hara, A., Kawabata, A. 2012. Eradication of Rotylenchulus reniformis from a volcanic cinder medium using steam sterilization. Nematropica. 42:245-252.
Manton, J.L., Hollingsworth, R.G., Cabos, R.Y.M. 2012. Potential of Steinernema carpocapsae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) against Hypothenemus hampei in Hawaii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Florida Entomologist. 95(4):1194-1197.
Matsumoto Brower, T.K., Keith, L.M., Cabos, R.Y.M., Suzuki, J.Y., Gonsalves, D., Thilmony, R.L. 2013. Screening promoters for Anthurium transformation using transient expression. Plant Cell Reports. 32:443-451.