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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Research Project #442109

Research Project: Detection and Characterization of Genetic Resistance to Corn and Soybean Viruses

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research

Project Number: 5082-22000-002-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 10, 2022
End Date: May 9, 2027

Objective 1: Identify and characterize endemic and emergent viruses in corn and soybean, and develop sequence and detection resources. Sub-objective 1: Identify, diagnose, and characterize insect-transmitted pathogens of maize and soybean. Objective 2: Develop genetic markers and germplasm associated with corn virus resistance genes, and transfer information for practical management solutions. Sub-objective 2.A: Confirm the identity of HPWMoV resistance loci in maize and evaluate the effects of disease resistance on seed contamination and transmission. Sub-objective 2.B: Identify and characterize loci conferring tolerance/resistance to maize yellow mosaic virus. Sub-objective 2.C: Identify bean pod mottle virus resistant Glycine accessions and incorporate resistance into a cultivated soybean background. Objective 3: Fine map, clone, and characterize virus resistance genes, facilitating the investigation of host-pathogen interactions. Sub-objective 3.A: Fine map the WSMV resistance gene, wsm3, and examine pathogenesis of WSMV in resistant and susceptible maize. Sub-objective 3.B: Fine map MCMV resistance loci in maize inbred lines and develop near isogenic lines to study host-pathogen interactions.

Corn and soybean production in the United States is valued at more than $80 billion annually. Pathogens, including plant viruses, constitute a major component of crop loss, reducing U.S. corn and soybean yields by approximately 15%. Furthermore, pathogen contamination of grain poses major phytosanitary concerns for international trade. The spread of invasive pests and pathogens due to increased global trade and changing habitats, necessitates continued monitoring and identification of emerging viruses and their vectors to inform appropriate disease management strategies. The overarching goals of our research are to detect and characterize important viruses of corn and soybean, identify and develop virus resistant germplasm, map resistance loci, and elucidate mechanisms of host-vector-virus interactions. Using serological, molecular, and next generation sequencing techniques, we will identify key endemic and emerging maize and soybean viruses, evaluate virus population structures, and develop diagnostic assays. Host range and insect-vectors will be determined to reveal factors important for pathogenesis and transmission. We will identify resistant germplasm and develop molecular breeding tools to combat emerging maize viruses, such as high plains wheat mosaic virus (HPWMoV) and maize yellow mosaic virus (MaYMV). Secondary and tertiary soybean gene-pools will be evaluated to identify bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) resistant germplasm and resistance will be incorporated into cultivated soybean lines. Fine mapping and map-based cloning approaches will used to delineate the genomic loci associated with maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and potyvirus resistance genes, helping to determine mechanisms of host-resistance and to broaden our overall understanding of virus resistance in plants. Seed producers, breeders, researchers, and farmers will benefit from new disease diagnostic and molecular breeding tools, leading to improved corn and soybean yields.