PVY is re-emerging as a serious and an immediate threat for the U.S. potato production and international trade. Current diagnostics cannot quickly identify PVY strains that cause the most crop damage and that are impacting international trade due to quarantine or regulated status of the virus. The research objective is to sequence a minimum of 1,200 isolates that represent multiple individuals within each of the distinct strain groups. The proposed research will directly result in the development of molecular markers and new methods to detect and differentiate various novel PVY strains, and to quickly identify biological phenotypes.
Potato virus Y (PVY) is re-emerging as a serious and an immediate threat for the U.S. potato production and international trade. Recent studies have identified an explosion of genetic and biological diversity in the PVY population leading to a widespread distribution of damaging necrotic variants that were recently considered to be absent in North America. Nevertheless, the population structure, recombination potential, and pathogenicity of PVY strains in different environments and in prominent potato varieties remain poorly understood. Two of the co-PIs were the coordinators and principle scientists for a 3-year (2004-07) survey of PVY diversity in all U.S. and Canadian seed potato production areas. More than 4,000 PVY isolates were analyzed by multiplex RT-PCR to determine a molecular genotype, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays using a panel of monoclonal antibodies to determine a serotype, by bioassays on tobacco and potato to determine a necrosis phenotype. All of this information was used to categorize isolates into strain groups. Additionally, there is a growing list of collaborators willing to share representative PVY isolates from other continents. The research objective is to sequence a minimum of 1,200 isolates that represent multiple individuals within each of the distinct strain groups. We will utilize both the standard bioinformatics platforms and develop unique tools to address PVY genomic diversity, phylogeny and evolution of PVY strains, and to correlate molecular genotypes with biological phenotypes relevant to potato production and international and domestic marketing and trade.