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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #432523

Research Project: Integrated Disease Management Strategies for Woody Perennial Species

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2017 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Examine etiology and ecology of key rootstock and scion diseases to enhance sustainability and profitability of tree and vine crops. Subobjective 1A: Conduct transcriptome analysis to identify potential causes of almond bud failure. Subobjective 1B: Determine the epidemiology of Grapevine red blotch-associated virus in California vineyards. Subobjective 1C: Identify potential causes of Paradox canker disease of walnut. Subobjective 1D: Identify soil microbial communities and processes conducive to development of Prunus replant disease. Subobjective 1E: Examine host-induced phenotypic instability in the Sudden Oak Death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum in production nurseries and natural settings. Objective 2: Sequence the genomes of phytoplasmas infecting stone fruit trees in California to enhance development of control and science-based quarantine regulations. Subobjective 2A: Determine the genome sequence of Cherry X disease phytoplasma, Peach yellow leafroll phytoplasma, and Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri. Subobjective 2B: Perform comparative genomics of the Cherry X disease phytoplasma and Peach yellow leafroll phytoplasma with other phytoplasmas. Objective 3: Develop novel amendment-based approaches for the management of soil borne pathogens and diseases. Subobjective 3A: Optimize anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) and its effectiveness against key pathogens under in vitro conditions. Subobjective 3B: Enhance and optimize ASD for management of almond orchard replant problems. Subobjective 3C: Characterize microbial community responses to ASD in greenhouse and orchard trials. Subobjective 3D: Quantify greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen (N)transformations, and inorganic N leachate resulting from ASD. Objective 4: Identify host genotypes that exhibit resistance to key soil borne pathogens. Subobjective 4A: Identify and characterize Juglans rootstock genotypes resistant to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Subobjective 4B: Identify and characterize Juglans rootstock genotypes resistant to key Phytophthora species. Objective 5: Identify gene and protein targets for use in novel molecular disease management strategies in woody perennial rootstocks. Subobjective 5A: In planta transcriptomic approaches to investigate host-Phytophthora interactions. Subobjective 5B: Examine the feasibility of using RNAi technology to suppress infection by Phytophthora species.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Objective 1 1A: Collect symptomatic shoots from almond trees exhibiting bud failure (BF) and shoots from non-symptomatic trees. Identify differentially expressed genes in BF trees compared with controls. Validate results of differentially expressed genes to identify BF markers and trees with the genetic potential to exhibit BF. 1B: Monitor grapevines in established plot for the spread of Grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV). Assess fruit quality of infected grapevines and compare with confirmed non-infected grapevines. Analyze data for variance and spatial and temporal changes in the GRBaV spread. 1C: Examine evidence for host genetic contributions to Paradox Canker Disease (PCD) of walnut. Use established metatranscriptomic libraries to bioinformatically examine signatures of host response to PCD. 1D: Establish plants susceptible to Prunus replant disease (PRD) in replicate plots of soil that induce PRD and replicate plots using the same soil treated so that PRD is not induced. Sample the soil and roots to examine associations of microbial taxa and their activities with PRD induction. 1E: Characterize newly identified plant defense mechanism to explore the feasibility of using nursery ornamentals as a pathosystem. Assess virulence and genetic stability among isolates of P. ramorum. Investigate factors that induce phenotypic instability and reduce aggressiveness towards specific hosts. Objective 2 2A: Purified DNA from petioles of cherry and almond, and the columella of pear fruit will be sheared, barcoded, amplified and sequenced. 2B: Compare annotated genomes to determine quarantine concerns. Examine gene organization by aligning the genomes to visualize regions of synteny and perform other comparative analyses. Objective 3 3A: Perform a series of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) greenhouse trials to screen alternative carbon sources for their ability to generate and maintain anaerobic conditions and for their efficacy in reducing pathogen populations in soil. 3B: Examine efficacy of rice bran and more affordable ASD substrates for control of PRD in a greenhouse soil bioassay. 3C: Characterize microbial community responses to selected ASD carbon sources and organic amendments in the trials described in subobjectives 3 and 3B. 3D: Quantify GHG emissions and nitrate leaching resulting from ASD to facilitate adoption of ASD practices and refine existing biogeochemical models. Objective 4 4A: Produce clonal copies of confirmed interspecific hybrids with resistance to crown gall and Phytophthora. Evaluate clones for resistance. Perform genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), associated mapping and mapping population analysis. 4B: Produce clonal copies of confirmed interspecific hybrids with resistance to P. cinnamomi and P. citricola. Evaluate clones for resistance. Objective 5 5A: Conduct in planta transcriptomic analyses of P. citricola in walnut and almond. 5B: Select candidate genes from data in subobjective 5A and develop stable host-induced gene silencing lines in walnut.

3. Progress Report:
This is the first report for this new project which just began in May of 2017. Please see the report for our previous project, 2032-22000-015-00D, "Integrated Strategies for Advanced Management of Fruit, Nut, and Oak Tree Diseases, for additional information. The previous project provided the foundation for continuing our examination of the objectives and sub-objectives defined in this newly approved project. For example, we will continue our work on the identification and characterization of walnut genotypes which exhibit elevated levels of disease resistance to key soil borne pathogens. In addition, we will identify the mechanisms involved in Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) which mediate the observed control of soil borne pathogens in an effort to optimize its commercial applications. Identification of the etiology of emerging diseases such as lethal Paradox canker, almond bud failure and characterization of phenotypic variation in the Sudden Oak Death pathogen, epidemiological examination of Grapevine red blotch disease will provide additional tools for the development of effective management strategies.

4. Accomplishments