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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #164392


item Schaad, Norman
item ABRAMS, J
item MADDEN, L
item Frederick, Reid
item Luster, Douglas - Doug
item Damsteegt, Vernon

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Schaad, N.W., Abrams, J., Madden, L.V., Frederick, R.D., Luster, D.G., Damsteegt, V.D., Vidaver, A.K. 2006. An assessment model for rating high-threat crop pathogens. Phytopathology 96:616-621

Interpretive Summary: Emerging foreign plant diseases have recently become a greater risk due in part to increased international travel and free trade agreements. Because there are so many crop hosts with many pathogens per host, we have developed a threat assessment model to simplify the process of rating high-risk crop pathogens. The model can utilize 19 pathogen criteria in many different combinations, and relies on experts in plant pathology to input their knowledge of the pathogen, resulting in a compiled score for each pathogen. A list of the highest risk organisms can then be developed from the scores.

Technical Abstract: The number of nonindigenous plant pathogens becoming established in the U.S. has increased over recent decades. Natural, accidental and deliberate introductions of crop pathogens have become increasingly recognized as threats to the US economy. Given the large number of pathogens that could be introduced, development of rapid detection methods and control strategies for every potential agent would be extremely difficult and costly. Thus, a realistic list of high threat pathogens is needed. We address development of a pathogen threat assessment model (method) based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process that can be applicable world wide, using the U.S. as an illustrative example. Using the collective knowledge of Subject Matter Expert panels and decision-making software, the weighted criteria for assessing the threat of accidental or deliberately introduced pathogens were determined and a rating model developed. The model can be applied by experts on particular crops to develop high-priority threat lists, based on the current knowledge of individual diseases.