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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Research Project #444767

Research Project: Effects of Insect Herbivory in Blueberry and Transmission of False Blossom Disease in Cranberry

Location: Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-023-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Research is required to understand the interactions between host plants, insect vectors and false blossom diseases to implement effective disease and insect control programs. 1) Perform transcriptome analyses (RNAseq) from herbivore treated and untreated wild and cultivated blueberry germplasm 2) Perform experiments to characterize insect-vectored transmission of false blossom disease in cranberry

1. Total RNA will be extracted from wild (diploid and tetraploid) and cultivated (tetraploid) blueberry accessions. 2. RNAseq will be performed using standard procedures (mRNA enrichment, cDNA synthesis, next-generation sequencing). 3. qRT-PCR assays will be designed and performed to confirm target gene expression (based on RNAseq data). 4. ARS will determine the species of leaf hopper that can acquire and transmit the disease through controlled feeding experiments using nymphs and adults of sharp-nosed and blunt-nosed leafhoppers. 5. ARS will test plant resistance in our cranberry germplasm collection through controlled feeding experiments using the vector(s) identified in approach 4 (above).