Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015KY242B

Toward rapid detection of Phytophthora cinnamomi and P. ramorum in Appalachian streams

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $11,408

Principal Investigators: Chris Barton

Abstract: Appalachian forests are threatened by invasive pests. Among these, Phytophthora cinnamomi (already present in Appalachian forests) and P. ramorum (currently in California, but not yet in Appalachia) are particularly disconcerting pathogens of chestnut and oak species. These species are soil borne pathogens but are transmitted as oopsores by streams. We propose development of a rapid and sensitive PCR method for detection of P. cinnamomi and P. ramorum directly from water and/or soil samples. This assay will be expandable with future research into a quantitative PCR assay permitting quantification of a variety of oospores in water. Such a procedure, if successful, will significantly reduce the time required for sample processing, thereby permitting rapid assessments of environmental samples.