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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 #441078

Research Project: Genomic and Molecular Characterization of Bacterial Strategies Used in Plant Pathogen Interactions

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-048-007-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Plant pathogenic bacteria use a variety of strategies to colonize a host plant and cause disease. Many bacteria produce molecules to avoid recognition by the host to promote and establish infection. A diverse array of bacterial molecules are known to inhibit or modulate the plant defense response. However, more work is needed to better understand bacterial pathogenesis and the relationship between bacterial molecules used to promote pathogenesis and host range, the plant defense pathways and how environmental conditions impact disease outcome. The objective of the research is to characterize bacterial factors that are critical to bacterial pathogenesis and identify mechanisms involved in the plant defense response to bacterial pathogens. Increasing the understanding of the pathogen-host interactions will ultimately translate into new strategies to prevent plant disease.

Worldwide, bacterial diseases cause significant destruction of vegetables as well as flower and ornamental crops. We have identified several different bacteria sp. (Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, Dickeya, Pantoea) causing disease on ornamental plants. The host range of these bacteria has not been investigated. This project will use pathogenicity assays to explore the host range of these bacterial pathogens as well as use genomic information to help understand the host range of the various bacterial species and determine what bacterial factors contribute to disease. The project will also characterize the genome structure of the bacterial species. These studies will aid in diagnostics as well as improve the likelihood of effective disease management. Our results will also provide insight about the host range of these bacterial species.