Rapid, Simple and Inexpensive Detection of Potyvirus in Seed Potatoes

Award Information
Department of Agriculture
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
1212 FOURIER DR STE 200, Madison, WI, 53717
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
William Petersen
Managing Member
(608) 229-2833
Business Contact:
William Petersen
Managing Member
(608) 229-2833
Research Institution:
Rxoa Biosciences (Rxoa) proposes to develop a fast, reliable, cost-effective assay for Potato Virus Y (PVY). The $3 billion per year US potato industry requires a reliable and healthy seed potato supply. PVY is one of the top disease management issues for the over 2 billion pounds of seed potatoes produced in the United States each year. Seed potato certification programs in the US require a post-harvest grow-out test to assess virus incidence in seed potato lots. Unfortunately, foliar symptoms are not always clear cut, especially with recently established tuber necrotic lesion strains of PVY. With no or limited foliar symptoms, there is a need for an inexpensive, rapid and dependable PVY assay for post-harvest grow-out testing. Rxoa will use established technologies combined in a unique way to develop a new PVY assay. Rxoa will design and have synthesized a proprietary reagent that reacts to PVY. Concurrently, a production system will be developed to increase the supply of the test reagent. Due to time and monetary parameters of the phase I program, there may be only limited testing with one potato variety and one PVY strain. Specifically, Rxoa will: Design and have synthesized a PVY specific reagent, design and make a reagent production system and conduct initial testing of reagent in a known PVY infected potato plant. At the end of the phase I portion of the project, we expect to have confirmation that our assay strategy shows promise. Phase II activities will concentrate on validating the assay using multiple potato varieties with various strains of PVY across multiple environments. Upon validation, we believe we will have a fast, powerful, cost-effective assay for one of the most damaging viruses affecting the seed potato industry. Rxoa will be in a position to market the assay reagent or assay kit to both state and private potato seed producers and commercial testing labs. The use of this testing strategy is not limited to PVY and potatoes and could have huge potential for virus indexing in the $45 billion/yr ornamental industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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