Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184689

Title: PLANT PATHOGEN FORENSICS: CAPABILITIES, NEEDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Author
item Luster, Douglas - Doug
item Fletcher, J
item Bender, C
item Budowle, B
item Cobb, W
item Gold, S
item Ishimaru, C
item Melcher, U
item Murch, R
item Scherm, H
item Seem, R
item Sherwood, J
item Sobral, B
item Tolin, S

Submitted to: Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2005
Publication Date: 6/6/2006
Citation: Luster, D.G., Fletcher, J., Bender, C., Budowle, B., Cobb, W.T., Gold, S.E., Ishimaru, C.A., Melcher, U., Murch, R., Scherm, H., Seem, R.C., Sherwood, J.L., Sobral, B.W., Tolin, S.A. 2006. Plant pathogen forensics: capabilities, needs and recommendations. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 70:450-471

Interpretive Summary: A deliberate biological attack on United States crops, rangelands or forests could reduce yield and quality, erode consumer confidence, affect economic health and the environment, and possibly impact human nutrition and international relations. Preparedness for such events require a strong national security plan that includes, among other things, steps for identifying the microbial agents and the ability to link criminal attribution to the perpetrators (“forensics”). U.S. crop producers, consultants and agricultural scientists have not traditionally focused their efforts on the possibility of intentional pathogen introduction, but instead concentrated on disease management strategies for prevention and either rapid eradication or long-term management. Here, we assessed currently available information, technologies and resources developed originally for plant health or economic applications which also can be utilized for plant pathogen forensics. Recommendations for prioritization of activities and resource expenditures needed to enhance our plant pathogen forensics capabilities are presented.

Technical Abstract: A deliberate biological attack on United States crops, rangelands or forests could reduce yield and quality, erode consumer confidence, affect economic health and the environment and possibly impact human nutrition and international relations. Preparedness for such events require a strong national security plan that includes; among other things, steps for microbial forensics and criminal attribution. U.S. crop producers, consultants and agricultural scientists have not traditionally focused on the possibility of intentional pathogen introduction, but instead concentrated on disease management strategies for prevention and either rapid eradication or long-term management. Here, we assessed currently available information, technologies and resources, developed originally for plant health or economic applications, which also can be utilized for plant pathogen forensics. Recommendations for prioritization of activities and resource expenditures needed to enhance our plant pathogen forensics capabilities are presented.