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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 #438825

Research Project: Genomics of Plant Pathogenic Fungi and Downy Mildews

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-298-33-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Objective:
The objective of this agreement is to develop DNA sequence resources for the identification of downy mildews and other plant pathogens of economically important plants. Fungal and downy mildew plant pathogens have a significant impact on a wide range of crops, either by their direct effect on plant health and yield reductions, or indirectly with regulatory restrictions on the movement/shipment of plant material intended to prevent pathogen introduction or spread. However, there is a significant gap in our ability to identify and systematically characterize many of the most destructive plant pathogens, especially for newly emergent plant pathogens or those foreign to the U.S. For many plant pathogens there is limited sequence data to support accurate identifications, diagnostic tool development, or taxonomic assessments. Therefore, the objective of this project is to establish a robust database of genome resources for key plant pathogens threatening U.S. crops. The collaboration established in this agreement provides support for this objective by sharing expertise with the plant pathogens and generating DNA and RNA sequence data that will be used for genetic diversity studies, development of diagnostic markers, and the characterization and identification of newly emerging pathogens threatening healthy plant production.

Approach:
DNA and RNA sequence data will be generated and analyzed from a wide range of plant pathogens that cause downy mildew disease and from plant pathogenic fungi that cause boxwood blight disease. ARS researchers will collect, identify and supply the sample DNAs and the university collaborator will perform research resulting in next generation DNA sequences for development of identification tools. ARS and university personnel will jointly analyze data and develop identification tools and make data available through public databases and research publications.