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Bob Larson Crown Gall Disease Detection Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: August 14, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. Researchers at Oregon State University are one step closer to developing a system to detect, on-site, a soil-borne bacterium found in fruit and nut trees and grapevines.

OSU Ag Sciences professor Jeff Chang says researchers have developed molecular tools that work with commercially available kits to quickly and effectively test plants for Crown Gall disease …

JEFF CHANG … “What Crown Gall disease is is a disease caused by a bacterial pathogen. And it’s a very unique pathogen called Agrobacterium. And what it’s able to do is to genetically modify the host. So, it clips off a little fragment of its DNA and transfers it directly into the genome of the plant. And on that segment of DNA are genes that synthesize hormones. And the synthesis of the hormones then causes unregulated signaling in the plant that leads to unregulated control of the growth in the formation of these gigantic tumors.”

Chang says Crown Gall can lead to tremendous economic damage …

JEFF CHANG … “One of the challenges with Agrobacteria is since it genetically modifies its host, once it’s infecting the tissues there’s no cure. You can’t cure it because it’s been permanently genetically modified.

So, the only possible outcome is to destroy that tissue.

And so, one can imagine, the earlier one detects the presence of the pathogen and disease, the greater they can limit the amount of economic damage.”

Listen tomorrow for more on the highly-contagious Crown Gall and the latest on this new detection tool and how it was developed by an undergrad.

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