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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Research Project #431694

Research Project: Cultivar-Specific Apple Root Biochemistry Effects on Beneficial and Pathogenic Rhizosphere Microorganisms

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Project Number: 2094-21220-002-18-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Feb 1, 2017
End Date: Jan 31, 2019

Objective:
1. Provide leadership, teaching, mentoring, and technical skill training to postdoctoral researcher. 2. Characterize natural apple root-produced exudates that differ among commercially available apple rootstocks and verify their functional role in rhizosphere ecology, both on specific pathogens and the rhizosphere microbiome as a whole. 3. Determine the effects of the apple scion (cultivars Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala) on the overall root biochemistry (specifically rhizosphere pH) as well as characterize their root exudates metabolic profile when grafted to disease tolerant rootstock (G.41) or disease susceptible rootstock (M.26).

Approach:
1. Training for the postdoctoral researcher will be obtained through grant writing coursework (Wenatchee Valley College), leadership training (Office of Personnel Management Center for Leadership Development), extension activities (WSU Sunrise Orchard Tour) graduate student mentoring, and employee supervision experiences. Objective 2. Preliminary data indicates a suite of natural chemical compounds produced by apple roots differ among ARD tolerant and susceptible apple rootstocks. Characterizing these compounds will include assessing accurate mass spectral features combined with evidence for their biosynthetic pathways according to an apple genomic database (Genome Database for Rosaceae [GDR]). Confirmation will be performed utilizing purchased authentic standards. Objective 3. Apple scion cultivars will be grafted onto rootstocks under controlled environmental conditions, and the root exudates metabolic profile will be monitored over time utilizing previously developed metabolite collection, extraction, and instrumental profiling techniques. In addition, the pH of scion/rootstock combinations will be assessed in water-based exudates collection and rhizosphere soil representing major soil types in Washington.