The effect of antimicrobial peptides on the grapevine pathogen Aster Yellows Phytoplasma


Project Number
GENUS 08-02

Project title
The effect of antimicrobial peptides on the grapevine pathogen Aster Yellows Phytoplasma

Project leader
Burger, J T

Institution
University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of AgriSciences. Department of Genetics

Team members
Burger, J T
Freeborough, M J
Engelbrecht, M
Blignaut, M

Project description
Phytoplasmas are of increasing significance around the world, and due to their recent discovery in South African vineyards could be highly problematic to the South African wine industry. Phytoplasma diseases have been categorised as being catastrophic in certain regions of France resulting in significant reductions in fruit yield and wine quality. This new emerging disease could be brought under control using viticultural practices because of the low base of infection at present. However, if the disease is not controlled it could result in an infection incidence of 80-100% within certain regions and within a short period of time. Therefore, a long term approach to control through the development of resistance against the pathogen is desirable and should be investigated and implemented before phytoplasma diseases becomes established in South African vineyards. This project aims to investigate the efficacy of two approaches to provide resistance against the phytoplasma pathogen, and provide a mechanism to incorporate resistance within grapevine to control this devastating emerging disease. The a first approach will be to identify gene silencing target sequences to clone and express these in Vitis cultivars and to evaluate for resistance. The second approach proposes to express previously isolated antimicrobial peptides in Vitis and to evaluate for efficacy against the aster yellows phytoplasma.

Presentation(s)
Visser, M, Snyman, M, Stephan, D and Burger, J T. 2011. Development of a real-time PCR for semi-quantitative detection of aster yellows phytoplasma. Paper presented at the 2nd International Phytoplasmologists Working Group. 12-16 September, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany.

Spinas, N L, Snyman, M, Visser, M, Stephan, D and Burger, J T. 2012. Can antimicrobial peptides be used to engineer resistance against the grapevine pathogen aster yellows phytoplasma? Paper presented at the 17th International Council for the Study of Virus and Virus-like Diseases of the Grapevine Conference. 7-14 October, Davis, California, United States.

Spinas, N L, Snyman, M, Visser, M, Stephan, D and Burger, J T. 2012. Attempts to establish a transient assay to test the efficiency of antimicrobial peptides against phytoplasma. Paper presented at the Phytoplasma Control in Crop Systems: COST Action FA0807 Working Group 3rd Meeting. 14-16 November, San Michele, Italy.

Spinas, N L, Snyman, M, Visser, M, Stephan, D and Burger, J T. 2011. Can antimicrobial peptides be used to engineer resistance against the grapevine pathogen aster yellows phytoplasma? Paper presented at the 33rd National Congress of the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture. November, Somerset West, South Africa.

FinalReport.pdf

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