|Abrams, J. - SAIC|
|Madden, L. - DEPT F PLANT PATH U. NEB.|
|Vidaver, A. - DEPT OF PLANT PATH U. NEB|
Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2004
Publication Date: May 20, 2004
Citation: Schaad, N.W., Abrams, J., Madden, L.V., Frederick, R.D., Luster, D.G., Damsteegt, V.D., Vidaver, A.K. 2004. Development of assessment models for rating high-threat crop pathogens. American Society for Microbiology. 215:72. Technical Abstract: The number of nonindigenous plant pathogens becoming established in the U.S. has increased over recent decades. Currently, both natural and deliberate introductions of crop pathogens are a concern to many countries. The possible targeting of crops or forests by bioterrorists is increasingly recognized as a threat. Because there are hundreds of pathogens and at least 10 crop and ornamental species with annual production values exceeding $1B in the U.S., each with multiple pathogens, the development of rapid detection protocols for all incoming potential pathogen threats would be extremely difficult and costly. Thus, a means of developing an unbiased, realistic list of high threat pathogens is needed. We address the development of pathogen threat assessment models based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (Saaty, T.L., 1982. Decision making for leaders: the analytical process for decisions in a complex world. Lifetime Learning Public, Belmont, CA. 281 pp.). The collective knowledge of expert panels of plant pathologists and Expert Choice group decision support software (Version 9.5, Expert Choice, Arlington, VA.) were used to identify either 17 or 18 weighted criteria to assess the threat of pathogens being introduced deliberately by small scale terrorist groups or by large scale, state-sponsored programs, respectively. These rating models can be applied by panels of pathology experts on particular crops to develop high-priority threat lists based on the current knowledge of individual diseases.