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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #430592

Research Project: Advancing the Technologies in Detecting, Diagnosing, and Controlling Black Leg Disease (Dickeya spp.) in the U.S.

Location: New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Project Number: 8030-12210-001-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 15, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

1) Develop and validate effective tools for laboratory detection and in-field diagnosis of Dickeya spp. 2) Examine the threshold population level in potato seed lots and effectiveness of disease management via seed treatment, operation, and storage.

Obj. 1) Current popular methods for Dickeya detection will be validated by multiple laboratories. Current detection is based on a combination of selection via crystal violet pectin medium, pathogenicity test on potato tubers, and PCR withADE1/ADE2 primers (Nassar et al. 1996). There is a need to develop more robust and reliable methods for Dickeya detection at the species and strain levels. Since BLAST analysis of PCR products may not give a perfect result due to lack of deposited sequences on the database, there is a specific need to work on this aspect. Obj. 2) Isolates of Dickeya spp. obtained from predominant strains of the 2015 outbreak will be used to inoculate potato tubers. The bacterial inoculation will be conducted by varying inoculum concentration, and incubation conditions (temperature and length of period). The trials will be set up in both field and controlled environment conditions. Disease will be evaluated to determine the threshold of pathogen population. The survival of the pathogen will also be examined under the above conditions. In a separate trial, the inoculated tubers will be treated with chemicals that are currently available for seed disinfestation and potential effective compounds. We would publish standard protocols via website and other extension media. The research output will be presented at professional meetings, as well as growers’ annual meetings