Date of Graduation

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Ioannis E. Tzanetakis

Committee Member

Craig Rothrock

Second Committee Member

Byung-Whi Kong

Keywords

Biological sciences; Blackberry virosome; Blackberry yellow vein disease

Abstract

Viruses pose a major concern for blackberry production around the world with more than 40 species known to infect the crop. Virus complexes have been identified recently as the major cause of plant decline with blackberry yellow vein disease (BYVD) being the most important disease of the crop in the Southern United States. The objective of this research was to study the blackberry virosome in both the macro and micro scale. The large scale approach involves identification of the major viruses known to be associated with BYVD in the Southern United States as well as the identification of other viruses whose prevalence is still unknown. RT-PCR was employed to detect the viruses present in wild, cultivated and sentinel blackberries from different states. In the micro approach, the virosome of a single field was studied using large scale sequencing. Understanding the virosome on a regional and local scale provides important information which could greatly enhance disease management. The ultimate goal of this research is to better understand virus distribution in nature and aid in the development of proper management strategies to control epidemics.

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