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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Determining High Risk Viruses for Blueberry Nurseries by Production Region in the U.S.

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21220-002-53-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Nov 30, 2017

Objective:
1. Examine nurseries and young fields in each of the major blueberry production areas of the U.S. to determine the incidence of each of the known blueberry viruses in each production region. 2. Determine which viruses pose the greatest risk for blueberry nurseries and fruit growers by region. 3. Use Next Generation Sequencing to examine blueberries with unusual symptoms to identify potential new threats to the blueberry nursery systems in each region. 4. Test native Vaccinnium near nurseries to identify potential threats to existing nursery systems

Approach:
Sample collection will be done by colleagues that work with blueberries in each production region. Samples will be shipped and processed for virus detection by ELISA, when tests are available. Total nucleic acids will also be extracted from each sample for testing of viruses for which there are no ELISA tests available, as well as testing for phytoplasmas and Xyella. Any samples that appear to have virus-like symptoms but are negative in all assays will be subjected to high through-put sequencing to identify potential new viruses in blueberry. The information from this project will feed into the Blueberry Pilot Nursery Projects that are being planned and submitted by the Washington, Oregon, Michigan and New Jersey Departments of Agriculture. This information will also provide the basis for identifying high risk viruses by region for blueberry nursery production, which will become components of certification programs. By applying this information to certification programs, testing efforts can be focused on the viruses most likely to be a problem for nurseries.

Last Modified: 09/21/2017
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