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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Rapid Diagnostic Assay for Phytophtora Species Attacking Avocado

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of the project is to modify our recently developed diagnostic assay to identify Phytophthora spp. on avocado. The research will also explore the development of technologically less complex isothermal diagnostic procedures that would simplify diagnostics of this genus in avocado, as well as strawberry and vegetable production systems.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This project will evaluate a recently developed molecular assay for detection of Phytophthora at a genus and species specific level. Prior work has demonstrated its ability to detect pathogens in strawberry and forest ecosystems with this project expanding the development of species specific TaqMan probes for detection of species attacking avocado. As part of this work other less technologically complex isothermal amplification techniques will be evaluated for their ability to detect Phytophthora species with less expense and time commitment than current real time PCR assays. This aspect of the research project will benefit detection procedures for all crops that are susceptible to Phytophthora infection.


3.Progress Report:

This agreement was established in support of objective 2 of the parent project, the goal being to develop molecular diagnostic tools for the identificatioin of emerging diseases of vegetables and strawberry, and use these tools in the development of management strategies as alternatives to methyl bromide. A TaqMan real time Polymerase Chain Reaction probe has been validated for P. cinnamomi and designed (but not yet tested) for P. mengei. An isothermal amplification technique for detection of Phytophthora has been developed and is currently being validated with a wide range of species. Additional primers for detection of P. cinnamomi and P. mengei have been designed.


Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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