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Poster: Diseases of Plants: Disease Detection & Diagnosis


A preemptive detection system to screen water for the presence of plant viruses
J. Daniel (1), B. Gallucci Mazziero (1), B. Dunn (1), F. Ochoa-Corona (1) (1) Oklahoma State University, U.S.A.

Growers are expanding cultivation into non-favorable cropping areas pumping water from nearby lakes, rivers, wells, aquifers, and runoff, increasing the need for waterborne plant pathogen monitoring. Particulate matter dilution factors due to high water volumes, make detection and identification of potential pathogens a challenge because of the extremely low virion numbers. Current plant pathogen detection methods are passive, and sampling and testing occurs after disease symptoms appear. In the event of highly virulent pathogen incursions, detection may be too late to limit losses. This project seeks to develop a preemptive detection system that will easily sample large volumes of water to screen for the presence of plant pathogens. Three waterborne plant viruses: Tomato bushy stunt virus, Pepino mosaic virus, and Pepper mild mottle virus were used as models for this purpose. Previously developed multiplex detection protocols, were modified to detect these three waterborne viruses. Recovery of viruses using polyethylene glycol from 250 ml, 500 ml, and 1 L of water was demonstrated. Adaptation of an inexpensive, durable, and field-ready sampling device is presented. The testing of waterborne virus movement in two different microcosms is described. Monitoring of microbial loads in agricultural irrigation systems, and other water sources, is essential for effective surveillance and disease prevention for plant health.