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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #441571

Research Project: Coffee leaf rust: establishing groundwork to identify pathogen races, host resistance and Biological control in Puerto Rico.

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

Project Number: 6090-21000-061-005-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Incoming funds will be used to develop a coffee leaf rust (CLR) project. This project has as a main goal to determine the races of Hemileia vastatrix present in Puerto Rico, introduce and screening for susceptibility to CLR the 30 most common coffee plant varieties from World coffee research brought from ARS in Hilo - Hawaii, begin to build a collection of differential coffee varieties for CLR in Puerto Rico and to test natural bio-control of coffee leaf rust using mycoparasites

Determination of races of H. vastatrix in Puerto Rico. Leaves infected with coffee leaf rust will be collected throughout the coffee-growing area of Puerto Rico. Leaves will be brought to plant pathology lab at TARS where CLR races will be identified using 11 coffee differential plants previously introduced from CATIE in Costa Rica and molecular identification using NGS (RAD-seq method). Introduction and CLR testing of coffee varieties from ARS - Hilo Hawaii. The 30 varieties from World Coffee Research brought from ARS- Hilo Hawaii will be challenged with CLR strains found in Puerto Rico. Testing natural bio - control of CLR using mycoparasites. The mycoparasites Akanthomyces spp., Simplicillium sp., and Lecanicillium sp. will be tested against H. vastratix in Lab and Field experiments. What mix of species is most effective and what conditions and seasons favor the infection will be also determined.