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POSTERS: Pathogen detection, quantification and diagnosis

A spore trap network for the early detection of plant pathogens in Idaho
James Woodhall - University of Idaho. Alan Malek- University of Idaho, Alexandra Oropeza- University of Idaho, Katie Fairchild- University of Idaho, Phillip Wharton- University of Idaho, Sandesh Dangi- University of Idaho, Juliet Marshall- University of Idaho, Shelia Keith- University of Idah

Many important crop pathogens are dispersed via air-borne spores. Typically, these pathogens are managed on calendar-based schedules, often without knowledge of the local optimum conditions for disease development or if spores are present in the area at the required threshold for disease development. Recent advances in spore sampling technology and molecular diagnostics have enabled airborne spores of these pathogens to be detected and the results disseminated in a timely manner. Spore traps placed in a network can potentially provide a powerful tool to warn growers of disease risk, thereby allowing early treatments or conversely alleviating the need for unnecessary treatments in the absence of disease pressure. Recently the University of Idaho and industry partners have invested in a network of 15 Burkard multi-vial cyclone spore samplers. These samplers can sample continuously for 7 days, automatically changing the sampling vial daily. Spore samplers were deployed throughout southern Idaho from May to September 2018 and real-time PCR was used to determine the relative levels of spores from potato pathogens (Phytophthora infestans, Alternaria solani, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotium). In addition, the network was used to monitor spores of sugar beet pathogens (Erysiphe betae and Cercospora beticola) and cereal pathogens (Puccinia striiformis f.sp. tritici and Blumeria graminis). Seasonal trends of airborne spore levels will be presented as well as the potential use of such a spore trap network to provide early detection of plant diseases.