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Corn and Soybean Virology
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The virus research team was originally formed in the 1960s in response to a dual epidemic of maize chlorotic dwarf virus (MCDV) and maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) that devastated Ohio's cornfields. The group originally consisted of a plant pathologist, a virologist, an entomologist and a maize breeder. The ARS group collaborated with Ohio State University faculty in Entomology, Plant Pathology and Crop Science faculty to identify the two viruses and their vectors. Since then, the group has studied viruses that limit maize production across the U.S. and worldwide. It is an internationally-known center of expertise in maize virus identification, characterization and epidemiology, and functions as an important early warning system for exotic viruses and vector-transmitted pathogens that threaten corn production in the U.S. Over the past 10 years, the group has included research to control emerging virus diseases and insect pests that threaten soybean production.

Our Mission is to understand viruses and insect-transmitted pathogens that infect maize and soybean, their transmission and crop resistance to disease.

Past accomplishments include:

Recent accomplishments include:

Current capabilities:

Current objectives

  1. Monitor and identify emerging insect-transmitted pathogens of maize and soybean using standard and bioinformatics-based approaches, and develop management strategies.
  1. Identify virus factors important for pathogenesis, transmission and host interactions, and develop virus systems for gene discovery and functional analysis in maize and other cereals.
  2. Identify and characterize mechanisms of action of genetic loci for virus resistance in maize.
  3. Characterize pathogen vectoring relationships of and between emerging insect pests and vectors of maize pathogens using comparative genetic and genomic analyses to identify factors that can be disrupted for disease control.