- Author: Elizabeth J Fichtner
Since 2014, the new Lindcove Research and Extension Center pathology laboratory has provided the infrastructure for six College of the Sequoias (COS) undergraduate interns enrolled in the SURGE (Science Undergraduate Research Group Experience) program. In 2017, Lizbeth Garcia and Hyo Jin Kim, completed a research project at LREC under the combined mentorship of Elizabeth Fichtner, PhD., UCCE Farm Advisor, and Alfonso Lago, DVM, PhD, President, DairyExperts.
Garcia and Kim's research project involved field and laboratory activities focused on a disease affecting a portion of Tulare County's 65,000+ acre pistachio industry. Narges Mahvelati, Jr. Specialist, UC Davis and Pallavi Nahata, Research Associate, DairyExperts, led students on field sampling and molecular biology work, respectively. The main emphasis of the students' project was to improve laboratory techniques for the diagnosis of plant pathogenic bacteria. Students utilized quantitative Real Time PCR to assess the extraction efficiency of two commercial DNA kits. Support for the molecular work at LREC was provided by Therese Kapaun, LREC Staff Research Associate.
Both Kim and Garcia started their undergraduate programs at COS and plan to complete their BSs in the UC and CSU systems. Kim is transferring to UCLA in September and is interested in a career in clinical laboratory research. Garcia intends to transfer to CSU Fullerton in 2018. In completion of their internship, Kim and Garcia presented a poster presentation of their results at the SURGE Symposium at COS on 8/11/2017.
1. Hyo Jin Kim, sets up well plate for PCR.
2. Hyo Jin Kim and LizBeth Garcia, interpret quantitative PCR output.
The US Congress provides funding to the Cochran Fellowship Program to provide training for emerging market countries. The goal of the program is to reduce non-tariff barrier disruptions between countries. Visiting from Pakistan were 6 scientists, administrators and members of private industry and accompanied by USDA representatives. This particular group is studying Phytosanitary compliance in fresh produce supply chains of apple, papaya and citrus. Lindcove provided lectures by Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell on LREC facilities and integrated pest management of citrus, Dr. Rock Christiano described the Citrus Clonal Protection Program and Donald Cleek demonstrated the citrus fruit grading system. Leading the tour was John Loyd, USDA Trade Specialist.
On June 13, 2017, University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors Ali Pourreza (Moderator), Lynn Wunderlich and Franz Niederholzer and IPM Specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell collaborated with Matt Strmiska of Adaptiv and the Citrus Research Board to provide a training on calibration of sprayers for California red scale in citrus at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center. More than 80 participants learned about the causes of California red scale outbreaks, the methods for calculating spray rates, and the aspects of spraying that make it most effective. Ali Pourreza provided insights on variable-rate applications for non-uniform orchards.
The presentations can be found at the following links:
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Dept of Entomology UCR and Director of LREC
Lynn Wunderlich, UCCE Central Sierra Farm Advisor
Field Demo: Differences in coverage based on 2 ground speeds and 2 fan speeds
Matt Strmiska, Adaptiv
Franz Niederholzer, UCCE Colusa County Advisor
Ali Pourreza, UCCE Advisor, Kearney REC
- Author: Therese Kapaun
Annual testing of more than 11,000 citrus trees for citrus tristeza virus (CTV) was completed last week at Lindcove REC. This year we found eleven trees infected with the virus, thus the average infection rate was one per thousand trees. This phloem-limited virus is vectored by several species of aphid. Infected trees are removed from the research plots to help protect the research from the disease. Funding for testing the trees is provided by the California Citrus Nursery Board.
Over the course of four weeks, six temporary field staff sampled four young leaf stalks from each tree under the direction of Therese Kapaun, Staff Research Associate at Lindcove REC. Stalk ends were cut and pressed directly onto a nitrocellulose membrane, then later processed in-house at the Plant Pathology Lab using a serological DAS-ELISA bioassay. Blots that were visually positive with this technique were then processed by Therese at a molecular level with RT-PCR, which also allows for virus strain identification. All infected trees were found to be infected with a common asymptomatic T30 strain, and fortunately were not infected with strains that cause severe symptoms such as stem pitting.
Therese was invited to teach the DAS-ELISA technique for CTV at CSU Bakersfield on April 20th. Plant pathology students brought freshly picked citrus stems from the outdoor courtyard trees, and applied their blots on a shared membrane. While incubation were in progress, Therese described the disease history of CTV in California, and discussed quarantine regulations and mandatory testing of citrus propagation material, as well as the ongoing work of the Central California Tristeza Eradication Agency and other industry efforts involved in the detection of severe strains of CTV.
A big shout out to Tom Delfino, Director of the California Citrus Nursery Society, and his wife Cynthia for their generous donation of their vehicle to the Lindcove Research and Extension Center. Donations like these are very special when they come from our citrus industry friends and they are a great support for our research and extension activities!