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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #440636

Research Project: Exploring the Virome and RNAi Strategies for Disease Control

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-039-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

The overarching goal is to develop viral and RNAi tools for management of white mold diseases in soybean. The specific objectives are: 1. Engineer/induce high levels of disease resistance in soybeans susceptible to S. sclerotiorum. 2. Optimize the spray adjuvant concentration and the cost for production of the biopesticides. 3. Examine fungal processing of dsRNAs that confer plant protection.

Objective 1. Disease resistance will be engineered into soybeans susceptible to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum utilizing a viral genome and appropriate promoters. Objective 2. We propose to continue optimizing the use rate of our biopesticide in greenhouse and field tests. In the lab, we will evaluate biopesticide rates from 40, 80, and 100% (equivalent to OD600=2) to evaluate biological performance against commercial benchmarking products using leaf assays. Once the rate is optimized against commercial benchmarks, we will evaluate biopesticide tank mixed with various adjuvants at 0, 0.25% 0.5 and 1%. Objective 3: After confirming which disruption mutants show weaker pathogenicity than the wild type, we will silence the set of genes which showed debilitation when knocked out in S. sclerotiorum. We will compare the efficacy against benchmarking commercial pesticides.