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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Translational Genomics for Recessive Disease Resistance in Cucumber (Msu)

Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
a. Develop a functional genomics platform (VIGS or transformation) for cucumber and use it for function validation of candidate gene for ZYMV resistance in cucumber. b. Understand molecular interactions between the downy mildew pathogen and cucumber host. c. Evaluate economic benefits of genetic improvements of disease resistance on commercial cucumber production. d. Conduct an outreach program.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
a. Develop a functional genomics platform: a CMV-based virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) system will be established in cucumber to validate candidate gene functions of the ZYMV resistance. b. Understand molecular interactions between the downy mildew pathogen and cucumber host. Work will include: (1) Genotyping of downy mildew isolates; (2) Establish a single cell blueprint of cucumber-downy mildew interactions; (3) Functional analysis of differentially expressed genes. c. Evaluate economic benefits of genetic improvements of disease resistance on commercial cucumber production. The economic evaluation team will provide economic impact assessments of the development of downy mildew resistant cultivars. This team will capitalize on strong industry (growers/processors) support for this research agenda by engaging key stakeholders in the research and outreach stages of this objective. The economic impact evaluation entails two states, Michigan and North Carolina, but will be fungible to other states. d. The outreach program will enhance communication with various segments of the industry, and educate the public on the need for sound scientific practices to resolve biological problems. The outreach target groups will include the cucumber growers, the private seed companies, cucumber scientific community, the youth and the general public.


3.Progress Report:

This project was renumbered from 3655-21000-048-38A to 3655-21000-062-12A. Developing the virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) functional genomics assay tool. We have obtained the necessary permission and biosafety permits and have received the Apple latent spherical virus (ALSV) cloning vectors ribonucleic acids (RNA1 and RNA2) from a lab in Japan.

Downy mildew (DM)-cucumber interactions. We compared infection stages and DM pathogen growth on susceptible and resistant cucumber lines. We also conducted transcriptome profiling in resistant and susceptible lines in response to DM pathogen inoculation.

Evaluating economic benefits of host resistance in cucumber. We have undertaken an extensive survey of slicing and pickling cucumber statistics to hold discussions with growers and processors to inform them of our research objectives. We have also developed an extensive discussion instrument for gathering information on regional value chains from grower to processor with the intent to understand relationships between growers and processors, the distribution of economic risks between growers and processors, quantitative values necessary to model the viable geographic scope of regional processing centers, and the minimum feedstock necessary by size of processor.

Outreach. The research team members attended a number of stakeholders’ meetings or professional meetings, gave presentations and organized workshops aiming to enhance communication with various segments of the industry, and to educate the public on the need for sound scientific practices to resolve biological problems.

This research relates to objectives 1 and 2 through the development of the virus induced gene silencing functional genomics assay tool, downy mildew cucumber interactions, evaluating economic benefits of host resistance in cucumber, and outreach.


Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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