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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Research Project #440440

Research Project: Integrative Genomic and Biological Approaches to Detect and Manage Emerging Foreign Fungal Plant Pathogens

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Project Number: 8044-22000-051-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 11, 2022
End Date: Apr 10, 2027

Objective:
Objective 1: Generate and utilize genomic and proteomic sequence information of emerging and threatening fungal plant pathogens to develop diagnostic assays. Sub-objective 1.A: Develop accurate and rapid means for the identification and detection of foreign fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 2.B: Evaluate chemical control methods for emerging fungal plant pathogens. Objective 2: Identify factors involved in fungal pathogen infection and virulence. Sub-objective 2.A: Determine environmental factors affecting sporulation of fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 2.B: Evaluate chemical control methods for emerging fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 2.C: Identify genes and proteins contributing to virulence in fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 2.D: Identify alternative hosts for fungal plant pathogens. Objective 3: Screen germplasm and identify resistance genes to emerging and threatening fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 3.A: Screen germplasm for resistance to foreign fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 3.B: Identify accession-specific resistance genes for emerging and threatening fungal plant pathogens. Sub-objective 3.C: Identify new races of fungal pathogens that can be controlled by existing resistance genes.

Approach:
Genomic sequence information will be generated from host plants and foreign fungal plant pathogens. Bioinformatic analyses will be conducted to identify resistance genes, pathogenicity factors, markers for evaluating pathogen populations, and unique targets for DNA-based diagnostic assay development. Pathogen proteins or isoforms will be identified and used to generate antibodies to develop immunodiagnostic assays. Fungicides will be evaluated for their efficacy in controlling emerging fungal plant pathogens. Controlled environment growth chambers will be used to determine the effect of temperature and humidity on the sporulation of fungal plant pathogens. Containment greenhouses will be utilized to screen plant germplasm with foreign fungal plant pathogens to identify sources of host resistance.