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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Survey For New and Economically Important Viruses in US National Berry Germplasm Collections

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository

Project Number: 2072-21000-044-10-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

This Section 10201 Suggestion seeks to safeguard specialty crop nurseries by identifying berry accessions at the USDA genebank that are infected with economically important viruses. During the 2 years proposed for this project 1400 Rubus and Vaccinium plant accessions that are a source of asexual propagation material will be tested for all known important germplasm-borne pathogens. Genetically diverse germplasm from the USDA genebank provides the foundation for experimental plantings at federal, state and private agricultural institutions nationwide. Commercial nurseries and growers also receive significant quantities of propagules.The berry genetic resources at the USDA genebank are a critical resource used by commercial nurseries throughout the United States to offer novel fruit varieties to their customers. Small farms and new entrepreneurial producers in particular require access to cultivars with unique traits and adaptations in order to compete in the marketplace. Propagating material from the living specialty plant collections stored at the USDA genebank are highly requested by individuals attempting to expand crop production to new areas or to diversify production in existing growing areas. A survey for the presence of newly identified and other economically important viruses in the living collections at the USDA genebank will reduce the risk of disseminating these pathogens to genebank clients who cannot find the plant material they need at an NCPN center.

The USDA-ARS Corvallis genebank houses collections of several important tree fruit and berry crops including about 900 Rubus (raspberry, blackberry) and 500 Vaccinium (blueberry, cranberry, lingonberry) clones maintained as living plants. In recent years a number of new and potentially harmful viruses have been reported in these crops, and the incidence of these viruses in genebank collections is unknown. Important viruses in Rubus include but are not limited to Raspberry bushy dwarf (RBDV), Raspberry leaf mottle (RLMV), Raspberry leaf curl (RpLV), Black raspberry necrosis (BRNV), Rubus yellow net (RYNV), Strawberry necrotic shock (SNSV), Blackberry yellow vein (BYVaV), Blackberry chlorotic ringspot (BCRV), Blackberry Virus E (BVE), and Blackberry virus Y (BVY). Important Vaccinium viruses include Blueberry latent virus (BBLV), Blueberry latent spherical virus (BLSV), Blueberry leaf mottle (BLMoV), Blueberry mosaic (causal agent unconfirmed), Blueberry necrotic ring blotch (BNRBV), Blueberry red ringspot (BRRV), Blueberry shock (BlShV), Blueberry scorch (BlScV), Blueberry shoestring (BSSV), Peach rosette mosaic (PRMV), Tobacco ringspot (TRSV), and Tomato Ringspot (ToRSV). Some of these viruses are spreading and causing economic damage in the SE United States, in regions that were the source of some recent genebank accessions. More than a dozen of these viruses can be detected by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), but others can only be detected by Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). We propose to test 1400 Rubus and Vaccinium accessions for all know viruses by ELISA and RT-PCR over two years. We also propose to examine a select group of accessions (50 per year) that are of special interest to nurseries or growers, or which have exhibited unusual symptoms not associated with know pathogens, by double stranded RNA analysis. Leaf tissue will be collected in spring or early summer at the USDA genebank.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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