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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Testing, Therapy, Clean-up, and Diagnostics for Berry Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21220-002-55-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

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

1. Develop improved virus elimination procedures for the berry crops. 2. Perform virus elimination therapy and produce virus-tested material. 3. Establish a foundation block in a screenhouse with virus-tested planting, retest existing G1 material in the block, this year we will begin developing a G1 block for blueberries in-house, since previously the Blueberries have been held at a commercial nursery and this has some inherent conflict of interest. 4. Develop laboratory-based diagnostic tests for uncharacterized viruses of the berry crops. 5. Develop new technologies for detection, emphasis will be based on deep sequencing as a method to do broad spectrum testing on clean plants. 6. Develop serological (ELISA) assays for key viruses that are most easily vectored in different regions of the US. 7. Inform nurseries and growers about clean plant activities and promote clean plants and the NCPN activities through a website to reach out to a broader audience, including stakeholders throughout the US.

This is a joint project between USDA-ARS-HCRL in Corvallis, Oregon and University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Sequence analysis will be done at USDA-ARS-HCRL and Univ of Arkansas. For deep sequencing Illumina be evaluated for detection of all viruses in a plant. We will also be using Illumina to sequence micro RNAs from plants, since that has been shown recently to be useful in detecting RNA and DNA viruses. Detection primers for RT-PCR will be evaluated at USDA-ARS-HCRL for viruses under permit and at both locations for viruses present in the areas. Virus clean-up will be done at- and virus-free plants will be maintained at USDA-ARS-HCRL. It is an integrated program between the two laboratories that takes advantage of the abilities of both groups to optimize the projects outputs. It also builds expertise and research infrastructure that can benefit the major berry growing regions in the US. Though the activities are collaborative between the two laboratories, each is submitting their own proposal.

Last Modified: 09/24/2017
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