<OL> <LI> To determine the molecular basis for interspecies transmission of H3N2 viruses between swine and turkeys. <LI> To continue research on soybean rust.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Avian influenza and soybean rust are two economically significant diseases that will be studied. The molecular basis that determine why a virus strain will cross the species barrier will be investigated using molecular techniques. The distribution of soybean rust across production areas, diagnosis of the disease, and risk factors will be studied.
APPROACH: Emerging and reemerging diseases in animal and plants are a continual concern. In this project two important animal and plant pathogens are being investigated, namely influenza and soybean rust. The H3N2 influenza virus is the most commonly isolated virus from humans and swine. In the recent past, the virus was isolated from turkeys and the infection caused significant economic losses. The molecular basis of the intraspecies transmission of the virus are not known. In the proposed studies reverse genetics will be used to elucidate the molecular basis of the intraspecies transmission based on the information gained earlier in our laboratory. Soybean rust, a high-risk invasive disease in the U.S., causes significant crop production losses in many areas of the world. There is great need to gain knowledge on its epidemiology in new environments and its distribution across production areas. Furthermore, improved disease diagnostic tests are needed that are accurate and robust. These are the areas to be investigated in this project.