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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #427005

Research Project: Development of Molecular and Applied Methods for Control of Potato Late Blight

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21220-005-07-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2018

The purpose of this research is to study new opportunities to advance our abilities to manage late blight in commercial settings as well as breed resistant varieties. This project will focus on using a multi-disciplinary approach to study Phytophthora infestans (the pathogen that causes potato late blight), apply emerging genetic approaches, breed resistant germplasm, conduct field studies, and provide recommendations to the growers. An understanding of molecular interactions between host R gene products and pathogen effectors has provided valuable data that will allow us to identify or engineer novel R-genes that can be used in breeding programs. Recent discovery of different mating types of P. infestans in Midwest potato fields has led to concern regarding sexual recombination and formation of soil-persistent oospores. Characterization of the overwintering ability of novel P. infestans genotypes as mycelia on currently grown potato varieties and as oospores in field soil will provide needed biological information to production scientists for estimating epidemic risk for improved control recommendations. Our specific objectives are: 1. Characterize the R-gene combinations of new late blight resistant advanced selections for R-gene stacking through conventional breeding. 2. Determine the survival potential and epidemic initiation risk of P. infestans genotypes in tubers.

The cooperator will be responsible for studies on the overwintering capabilities of various P. infestans strains on potato tubers as well as assisting in field screening of germplasm.