1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Establishing the genetic diversity of virus and vector resistance mechanisms in potato to facilitate the development of durable host resistance. Determining mechanisms of vector transmission of viruses to facilitate the development of effective disease management strategies
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Potato germplasm is screened for various types and levels of virus and vector resistance using the complete suite of virus strains that infect the crop. The molecular and genetic mechanisms of transmission of potyviruses and luteoviruses by aphids is studied to identify weak links in the transmission process that can be targeted for disruption.
The yellow dwarf viruses are related to potato leafroll virus and share many biological properties. These viruses are responsible for significant crop yield reductions measured in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Despite intensive effort, effective and grower accepted resistance has not been identified and incorporated into most affected crops. These viruses have remained recalcitrant to most modern biological techniques for manipulating the virus genome that would allow functional studies of the virus genes. Our work has developed the first methods to introduce infectious cloned virus molecules into whole plants. This allows us and others to make genetic modifications to the virus and introduce those modified viruses directly into plants to study how the genetic change affect various aspects of the virus life cycle, disease development and transmission of the virus between host plants. The new technologies will facilitate the development of novel strategies to control these viruses and reduce disease impacts on crops.