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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Research Project #434607

Research Project: Genomics Approaches for Understanding and Managing Blackleg and Soft Rot in Potato

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-042-05-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2018
End Date: Jul 31, 2021

Objective:
The aggressive soft rot bacterium Dickeya dianthicola was reported for the first time in U.S. potatoes in 2015, and it caused millions of dollars in losses in at least 10 potato-producing states and seriously impacted trade in seed potatoes. Dickeya has since rapidly spread to additional states is still being found in a high percentage of seed lots in some states. Dickeya may have become endemic and it will likely be a long-term and devastating threat to the U.S. potato industry. Because of the lack of knowledge about its biology and management, the Dickeya outbreak has created an urgent need for research and engagement with affected producers and the potato industry. Dickeya and Pectobacterium cause nearly identical symptoms and often occur together, so it is important to address both pathogens. The objectives are to - (1) Obtain genome sequences of D. dianthicola strains isolated in the U.S. and will test direct genome sequencing technologies for pathogen identification from field samples. (2) Use RNAseq to map and characterize Dickeya and Pectobacterium resistance genes in Solanum chacoense. The goals are to - (1) Improved pathogen detection tools for Dickeya and Pectobacterium, (2) Information required to develop resistant or tolerant potato varieties, and (3) Epidemiological information to aid growers in disease management decisions. These results are expected to significantly improve management of potato bacterial diseases.

Approach:
Obtain genome sequences of D. dianthicola strains isolated in the U.S. and will test direct genome sequencing technologies for pathogen identification from field samples. We will use RNAseq to map and characterize Dickeya and Pectobacterium resistance genes in Solanum chacoense. Markers developed from this work will be provided to potato breeding programs.