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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Research Project #432158

Research Project: Molecular Detection, Pathology Characterization and Development of Management Strategies for Rapid Ohia Death

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-017-10-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 10, 2017
End Date: Jan 9, 2020

The objective of this research is to determine the etiology and epidemiology of Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) in order to develop effective detection and management protocols for Rapid Ohia Death and other diseases caused by Ceratocystis species. Research will facilitate the understanding of the genetic basis of Ceratocystis host specificity and the genetic basis of host resistance to Ceratocystis.

Compare Ceratocystis pathogens present with Hawaii’s forests (ohia), nursery industry (including Syngonium, taro, other Araceae), and agricultural settings (sweet potato, coffee, cacao). Determine Ceratocystis genes and/or genotypes that underlie common or divergent plant host specificities. Utilize the USDA-PBARC Ceratocystis isolate collection with these properties to identify commonalities or differences at the genomic and transcript levels among strains with the same and different host specificities. Determine host plant genes and/or genotypes that underlie susceptibility or resistance to Ceratocystis pathogens. Identify plant genes that are differentially expressed over the course of infection by Ceratocystis pathogens, and/or identify plant genotypes or differences in gene expression between susceptible and resistant plant populations. Determine how ohia trees become infected with C. fimbriata. Determine how long C. fimbriata can persist and remain viable in infected trees and within cut-wood. Determine how to minimize the infective period with cultural management strategies. Determine if cut-logs and infested plant material (seedlings and ornamental plants) can serve as inoculum sources and facilitate human-aided movement of the pathogen. Determine if fungicides can be utilized to protect and treat infected seedlings and individual trees.