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The NPDN preparation and response to the inroduction of soybean rust.

Presenter: Karen L. Snover-Clift, Cornell University and the National Plant Diagnostic Network
Coauthor(s): The NPDN Diagnostics Subcommittee

Members of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) responded to the threat of an introduction of Phakopsora pachyrhizi, a fungal pathogen that causes the disease known as Asian Soybean Rust, by elevating key laboratory readiness through coordinated diagnostician morphological and molecular training workshops, the creation of standard operating procedures (SOPs), and by providing instruction for how and what information to transmit to the National Repository. The NPDN Diagnostic Subcommittee has coordinated these efforts. Upon arrival of P. pachyrhizi in November 2004, twenty four members from key locations across the Nation participated in morphological training, hosted by Reid Frederick, at the Agriculture Research Service, Fort Detrick, Maryland facility where viewing infected plants was possible. Sixteen members of the group also participated in molecular training at the USDA, PPQ, CPHST laboratory, hosted by Laurene Levy, where they acquired and performed the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol. The SOPs were reviewed and updated to include all pertinent information needed for processing samples. Updates of confirmed identifications were posted on the NPDN website and new finds are regularly described in regional newsletters. Additionally, a number of diagnostician training sessions were conducted with instruction by the APHIS National Mycologist, Mary Palm, using a conference call format with pre-made, pre-mailed slide sets of spores and a few regionally based, hands-on laboratory training sessions were conducted. Many diagnosticians have conveyed identification and symptom characteristics to growers, field representatives, and first detectors at various meeting venues.

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