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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #432484

Research Project: Rapid and Accurate Diagnostic Identification of Phytoplasmas for the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program (ARS) FY2018

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-306-005-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Jan 14, 2020

This project is a continuation of a previously funded project whose objectives are to enhance and strengthen pest identification and technology. Specifically, this project will improve early detection surveys, a strategy for this goal, by allowing identification at strain/species level for phytoplasmas. The Cooperator at APHIS will coordinate the agreement and sampling and shipment of samples to ARS.

ARS will select the best methods to use for plant sample storage and for rapid and reliable extraction protocols for total nucleic acids from leaves. Symptomatic plants will be tested by state or private labs using a phytoplasma nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Phytoplasma positive samples will then be analyzed by ARS using molecular tools (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism {RFLP} analysis and other methods) to determine the specific strain/species present and to distinguish between endemic phytoplasmas and the exotic phytoplasmas that are being surveyed for in early detection surveys. This project will address the significant gap in phytoplasma diagnostic capacity at the strain/species level. This project will also enhance taxonomic capacity for phytoplasmas, and will involve the deployment of molecular diagnostic tools, which are both strategies of this goal area. This project aligns with the diagnostic capacity building category. Specifically, this fits within molecular tool development/validation for CAPS national survey targets for phytoplasmas at the species/strain level.