Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-22000-281-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated
Start Date: Apr 9, 2012
End Date: Apr 8, 2017
Objective 1: Develop and use assays to characterize the interactions of exotic citrus pathogens with their hosts or vectors. Objective 2: Determine the etiology of exotic diseases of citrus and the diversity of exotic citrus pathogens.
This research project is focused on huanglongbing (HLB) and the extremely invasive pathogen Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus and another potentially invasive but uncharacterized pathogen, a presumed virus that causes citrus chlorotic dwarf (CCD) in Turkey. The pathogen has not been described, but it is transmitted by a whitefly already widespread in the United States and thus has very high potential for invasiveness. We will conduct basic and applied research which will lead to improved understanding of the biology and etiology of these diseases and provide the basis for improved diagnostic and research methods. Microarray studies of sweet orange trees infected with Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus and other phloem-limited pathogens will lead to the identification of novel host genes associated with general disease responses triggered by phloem-limited pathogens and specific disease responses triggered by Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus. Recombinant antibodies developed by bacteriophage display will be used to develop diagnostic procedures for Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus and as research tools. We will analyze data obtained from deep sequencing technology to characterize the virus causing citrus chlorotic dwarf. This information will be used to develop PCR and serologically based assays for this pathogen. The products of this research project will improve both scientific knowledge of invasive pathogens of citrus and provide novel assays useful or their detection and management.