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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research » Research » Research Project #421378

Research Project: Reducing Losses to Potato and Tomato Late Blight by Enhanced Monitoring of Pathogen Populations and Improved Resistant Plants, and Education

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
We will use the results of host-parasite investigations, data from the genome sequences of Phytophthora infestans and related species, results of population and epidemiological studies, to improve the practice of late blight management in production systems within the five year scope of the grant (2016). Within the same time-frame, we will test the deployment of superior resistance genes for late blight in both potato and tomato. In addition, a small component of the project will investigate alternative methods of creating resistant plants, and combating the pathogen to enable the next phase of translational research starting in 2016. Objectives have applications for all Oomycetes although most work will focus on P. infestans. P. infestans thus serves as a model organism for management of other Phytophthora species.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
A multidisciplinary approach will be used to accomplish research goals. These include genetics, structural and functional genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, epidemiology, population genetics, plant breeding, and biochemistry. To achieve the extension goals, we will use rapid diagnostics tools, a web-based decision support system, GPS, real-time simulation modeling, and innovative methods to communicate with growers. Education aspects of the project will involve growers, extension educators, graduate students, and undergraduates. The latter will include a research experience program for undergraduates at the University of California-Riverside specializing in oomycete genomics. Interns will train in PI labs including participating ARS labs. This $9.5 million NIFA/AFRI CAPS grant is led by scientists at UC Riverside and combines a large, international, interdisciplinary research team at many institutions. Budget only reflects ARS portion.

3. Progress Report:
We characterized populations of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans for resistance to several fungicides including azoxystrobin, mandipropamid, mefenoxam, and cymoxanil. New assays were developed to determine the effective concentrations at which growth of the pathogen is reduced to 50% in vitro. This work is still ongoing and final results are not yet available. This work will help improve potato late blight disease management by identifying fungicides that are at risk for developing fungicide resistance. This research was conducted in support of objective 2C of the parent project.

4. Accomplishments