Dr. Michael Rott
Molecular Plant Pathology Research
Current research and/or projects
The primary focus of research over the last several years has been the development of next generation sequencing (NGS) methods and bioinformatic workflows for research and diagnostics of plant viruses and viroids. This work is to support of Canadian import and export certification programs and proposed domestic certification programs for propagative grapevine, fruit trees, and other plant. To ensure that plant material entering, leaving or being transported within Canada is free of harmful viruses or virus-like organisms and that Canadian growers obtain the material in a timely manner. NGS methods are also being used to discover and characterize new viruses. For example, apple rubbery wood and apple flat limb diseases were first observed in Canada in the late 1800s but the causal agents have remained elusive. Unique negative strand RNA viruses belonging to the Bunyavirales have been found associated with these diseases and are undergoing further characterization. NGS is also being used to provide a greater insight into plant viruses that are already well studied, providing new insights on co-infections, diversity of viral genotypes and viral quasispecies.
Research and/or project statements
- Use of high throughput sequencing (HTS) techniques to characterize viruses of tree fruit and grapevine
- Development of novel detection methods for plant viruses based on NGS for post quarantine testing and clean plant programs
- Metagenomics for monitoring plant quarantine pests and pathogens