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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #218385

Title: Microbial Forensics and Plant Pathogens

Author
item Luster, Douglas - Doug
item Fletcher, J
item Melcher, U
item Sherwood, J

Submitted to: Wiley Handbook of Science Technology for Homeland Security
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2008
Publication Date: 11/14/2008
Citation: Luster, D.G., Fletcher, J., Melcher, U., Sherwood, J. 2008. Microbial Forensics and Plant Pathogens. Wiley Handbook of Science Technology for Homeland Security. DOI: 10.1002/9780470087923.hhs391 (online posting)

Interpretive Summary: New awareness of the vulnerability of a nation's agricultural infrastructure to the intentional introduction of pathogens or pests has led to the enhancement of programs for prevention and preparedness. A necessary component of a balanced bio-security plan is the capability to determine whether an outbreak may have been deliberate, to trace that outbreak to its source, and to identify those responsible for it. Microbial forensics is an emerging discipline that blends elements of numerous disciplines including microbiology, criminal forensic science, and agricultural sciences. The discipline of plant pathology offers much knowledge, as well as many technologies and resources, developed for peaceful purposes that can be adapted and applied to the development of the new sub-discipline of plant pathogen forensics. Targeted research and education programs will be needed to meet this need.

Technical Abstract: New awareness of the vulnerability of a nation's agricultural infrastructure to the intentional introduction of pathogens or pests has led to the enhancement of programs for prevention and preparedness. A necessary component of a balanced bio-security plan is the capability to determine whether an outbreak may have been deliberate, to trace that outbreak to its source, and to identify those responsible for it. Microbial forensics is an emerging discipline that blends elements of numerous disciplines including microbiology, forensic science, and agricultural sciences. The discipline of plant pathology offers much knowledge, as well as many technologies and resources, developed for peaceful purposes that can be adapted and applied to the development of the new sub-discipline of plant pathogen forensics. Targeted research and education programs will be needed to meet this need.