2012 Annual Report
Under the DTRA plant pathogen characterization project (ISTC #2685), four Russian plant scientists were trained at three different ARS locations for 1 – 3 month periods during the timeframe September 2011 – April 2012. ARS locations included the ARS Horticultural Crops Research Unit in Corvallis, Oregon; Cereal Rust Laboratory in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables, Beltsville, Maryland. Regarding new research proposal development with Russia, an ARS animal health team visited Russia in December 2011 to discuss mutual areas of interest for cooperative biological research projects with key animal health institutes and the Ministry of Agriculture. As a follow up to the December visit, the ARS Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit at Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) hosted a visit by three Russian scientists from the All Russian Research Institute of Veterinary Virology and Microbiology in Pokrov in August 2012 to develop a research project work plan on African swine fever and discuss the long term stay of a Russian veterinary scientist at PIADC. In addition, ARS continued to finalize a research project on foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) with the Federal Center for Animal Health (ARRIAH) scientists for submission to DTRA. Lastly, DTRA funded a one year extension for the on-going ARS/ISTC project #3005 on the detection and characterization of newly emerged Newcastle disease and avian influenza viruses.
Activities with Ukraine in FY12 focused on the development of new project proposal on “African Swine Fever Threat Reduction through Surveillance in the Ukraine.” ARS hosted three Ukrainian scientists from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Kharkhiv, Ukraine to develop the project work plan in April 2012. ARS scientists from the Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, Washington, the Livestock Insects Research Laboratory in Kerrville, TX, and Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit as well as the Office of National Programs jointly developed the proposal. ARS also developed the project proposal titled “Genomic, Epidemiological and Biological Characterization of Newcastle Disease Virus Isolates from Ukraine” in June involving scientists from ARS-SEPRL and the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Kharkhiv, Ukraine. Both projects were submitted to DTRA for funding. These activities will continue in 2013 through an extension of this agreement.