2012 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.
Work has been started on molecular interactions between cucumber and downy mildew pathogens. Ribonucleic acids (RNA)-Seq of the downy mildew pathogen has been initiated. The virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) experiment has started by working on vector construction.
This research relates to Objective 1, Determine the genetic basis of and initiate selection for carrot, onion, cucumber, and melon quality attributes influencing human nutrition and health, disease resistances, and yield and quality components, and stress tolerance in cucurbits, and perform field performance and quality trials; Objective 2, Utilize current biotechnology to discover and evaluate genetic variation and to map agriculturally important traits in Allium, Cucurbit, and Daucus germplasm, and to develop genetic and breeding stocks.