Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-22000-282-15-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2012
End Date: Jul 30, 2014
This project is a continuation of a previously funded project the objectives of which are to enhance and strengthen pest identification and technology. Specifically this project will improve early detection surveys, a strategy for this goal, by allowing identification at strain/species level for phytoplasmas.
This project will focus on phytoplasmas infecting grapefine, apple, pear, and stone fruits. ARS will select the best methods to use for plant sample storage and for rapid and reliable extraction protocols for total nucleic acids from leaves. Symptomatic plants will be tested by state or private labs using a phytoplasma-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Phytoplasma positive samples will then be analyzed by ARS using molecular tools (RFLP analysis) to determine the specific strain/species present and to distinguish between endemic phytoplasmas and the exotic phytoplasmas that are being surveyed for in early detection surveys. This project will address the significant gap in phytoplasma diagnostic capacity at the strain/species level. This project will also enhance taxonomic capacity for phytoplasmas, and will involve the deployment of molecular diagnostic tools, which are both strategies of this goal area. This project aligns with the diagnostic capacity building category. Specifically this fits within molecular tool development/validation for CAPS national survey targets for phytoplasmas at the species/strain level.