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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #438633

Research Project: Tools for the Identification and Detection of Graminicolous Downy Mildews, including the Select Agent Peronosclerospora

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-298-037-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 15, 2020
End Date: Aug 14, 2021

The primary purpose of this agreement is to support USDA APHIS Enhanced Pest ID and Technology. The specific objective is to develop diagnostics for graminicolous downy mildews in the tropics as well as clarify the taxonomic identification of current taxa. Newly acquired molecular data will be used in combination with molecular assessments to clarify and resolve taxonomic questions related to the graminicolous downy mildews, connecting accurate names to existing type materials and/or designating new types as required to enhance the ability of USDA to prevent the entry of and identity plant-quarantine significant fungi.

ARS plans to generate DNA sequences, digital images, and other systematic resources to support taxonomic clarification and diagnostic assay development for high-risk downy mildews of corn, sorghum, sugarcane, millets and other grasses, which are among the world's most destructive plant diseases. Specifically, the project will generate DNA sequence data for a large sample of graminicolous downy mildew pathogens worldwide and will make use of these molecular data in combination with molecular assessments to help clarify and resolve taxonomy of the graminicolous downy mildews. DNA sequence data from the following four loci will be used to establish the diversity of a large worldwide sampling of graminicolous downy mildew pathogens: nuclear rDNA ITS and three mitochondrial markers (cox2, cox1, rps10), which are most commonly used to assess downy mildew variation.