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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Mini-Plant Indexing: Development of Protocols to Use Very Young Plants for Biological Indexing

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates

Project Number: 5310-21000-010-08
Project Type: Trust

Start Date: Jan 01, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2013

Objective:
This is a project to further examine the use of young plants for biological indexing: to develop a standardized protocol, determine the best potting medium (UC Mix may not be the optimal for conetainers), determine the method of grafting, explore the possibility of placing the indictor plants, once inoculated, in an environmental chamber under optimum temperature to get quicker symptom development. Development of standardized protocols and the ability to conduct biological indexing with plants that can be grown and used in weeks instead of months and in significantly less space would enable the California Nursery Industry to continue recurring biological indexing for psorosis, tristeza, and viroids for mother trees, thus providing better protection for the industry as compared to increased reliance on laboratory testing where only target pathogens would be found, but not unknown pathogens.

Approach:
The overall objective is to evaluate the potential of using very young plants in conetainers or small pots for performance in biological indexing for the graft transmissible pathogens of citrus. This will be done by comparing the results of biological indexing using young plants, traditional biological indexing approach and the use of laboratory methods. A standardized protocol will be developed after considering different size conetainers and potting systems, comparison of potting medium, evaluate of methods of inoculation of small plants for consistency of performance and inoculum survival, evaluation of the potential of using environmental chambers or Arabidopsis chambers, examining economical methods to maintain desired temperatures. Once the protocol has been standardized, a workshop will be held for other certification programs, nurserymen, and other interested parties to demonstrate the methodology.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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