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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Research Project #433968

Research Project: Improved Management of Strawberry and Lettuce Soilborne Plant Pathogens using Microbiome-Based Disease Prediction

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Project Number: 2038-21530-002-020-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Nov 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

1. Develop new tools to detect, eradicate, and control pests and diseases. 2. Prevent and manage pests and diseases to minimize economic and environmental harm to specialty crop growers. 3. Enhance speed and reliability of detection methods. 4. Utilize innovative solutions to address threats, including engineering or cultural solutions.

Our goal is to develop a model to predict propagule density of soilborne plant pathogens based on quantitative characteristics of the non-pathogenic soil microbiome. We also want to explore whether microbiome characteristics can be used to predict soil physical-chemical characteristics important to agriculture, e.g., soil nutrient and salinity levels. The soil microbiome will be characterized using a standard DNA extraction protocol that is quick but not suitable to release the DNA from propagules of soilborne fungal plant pathogens. DNA will be sequenced using high throughput DNA sequencing. We recently showed that V. dahliae abundance correlates with soil microbiome characteristics in Salinas area soil, suggesting that propagule density can be predicted from the soil microbiome.