Submitted to: Florida Scientist
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2010
Publication Date: 3/19/2010
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Bextine, B.B. 2010. Emerging psyllid genomics: Applications to reduce plant disease [abstract]. Florida Scientist. 73(1):3. AGR-04. Online: www.barry.edu/fas/. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, and the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, both transmit bacterial pathogens that destroy important food crops, potato, tomato, citrus, and others. The International psyllid genome consortium (being led by the authors) has developed a research team to advance efforts to complete the genomes from these two psyllid pests, http://www.uttyler.edu/psyllidgenomics/Home.html. The strategies are aimed at the reduction of plant diseases, thus providing food security in many regions of the world. Currently there are ~20,000 EST’s produced from D. citri, and ~23,000 from B. cockerelli. Current breakthroughs in genome sequencing and computer science now permit an affordable, rapid approach to in-depth analyses of the genetic basis of many biological pathways. Genome applications of organisms also further supports the identification of the critical gene(s) in these pathways which when disrupted, or suppressed, can impart population suppression, as well as decreased or increased immune responses, thus providing advantageous management methods which are naturally occurring and highly specific. Applications of genomic data, gene regulation, and the emergence and development of new plant- and viral- expression strategies are on the verge of producing 'next generation' approaches for the management and control of insects which transmit disease. The importance of these developments will further provide food sustainability, safety, and security for the USA, and future generations which will need to produce more food, in environmentally safe manners to meet the demands of an ever growing human population.