Group Title: Agricultural research (Washington, D.C.)
Title: Agricultural research
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074949/00022
 Material Information
Title: Agricultural research
Uniform Title: Agricultural research (Washington, D.C.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 25-28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Science and Education Administration
United States -- Agricultural Research Administration
United States -- Agricultural Research Service
Publisher: Science and Education Administration, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture :
Science and Education Administration, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture :
Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., distributor
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: December 1998
Frequency: monthly[1989-]
bimonthly[ former jan./feb.-may/june 1953]
monthly[ former july 1953-198]
monthly
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1953).
Issuing Body: Vols. for Jan./Feb.-Nov. 1953 issued by: Agricultural Research Administration; Dec. 1953-<Sept. 1976> by: Agricultural Research Service; <June 1979>-June 1981 by: the Science and Education Administration; July 1981- by: the Agricultural Research Service.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 27, no. 7 (Jan. 1979).
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Vol. 46, no. 8 (Aug. 1998).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074949
Volume ID: VID00022
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ABP6986
oclc - 01478561
alephbibnum - 000271150
lccn - agr53000137
issn - 0002-161X

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FORUM


There's No Place
Like Home
Preserving plant germplasm used
to just mean sending a plant explorer
out to collect some samples and then
preserving the seeds for future gener-
ations of breeders and researchers.
But for some types of plants,
Agricultural Research Service
scientists have decided to take a lead
from nature and try safeguarding
germplasm in situ; that is, on site, in
the wild.
The idea is to find, document, and
then protect the germplasm where it
occurs naturally, rather than depend
on storing all of the plants in the
National Plant Germplasm System
(NPGS), which ARS manages for the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Storing germplasm in a genebank
is expensive. Seeds of some plants
remain viable only a few years in
storage, so they must be grown out
and new seed collected and pre-
served. Not only does such work
require a lot of labor, there is always
the chance that the seeds harvested
from the plants that are grown out for
saving will not be genetically the
same as those originally collected.
If the environmental conditions
under which a collected seed is
cultivated are different from its
native habitat, some features of the
next generation may differ from
those of the parent. Thus, some
unique characteristics might be lost.
There is also a possibility that when
stored seed is planted, it won't
germinate, which means genes could
be lost from that particular sample.
Other plants are simply hard to
keep in collections because they
don't form seeds readily, such as the
native onions ARS researcher Bar-
bara C. Hellier is now trying to
maintain in situ, rather than in a
formal collection.


Letting the plants take care of
reproducing themselves in nature
means a lot less work and, hopefully,
better preservation of the germplasm.
In situ preservation has another
benefit: It avoids the genetic bottle-
neck created because plant explorers
are able to collect only a small
sample of a species from the wild.
There is no way to be certain that the
few plants or seeds that are collected
represent all of the genetic diversity
of the species.
But if the right areas are chosen as
preserves, the entire range of a
plant's genetic potential continues to
grow naturally-and even has the
opportunity to evolve.
Of course, the in situ concept
works only if the area where the
germplasm has been catalogued is
kept undisturbed or is managed as a
protected reserve with someone
monitoring the area to safeguard it. A
potential side benefit of identifying
agronomically important germplasm
and protecting it in situ is that it may
provide additional justification for
conservation efforts within a threat-
ened area.
Disappearance of habitats, along
with their native plants, has added
urgency to germplasm exploring and
collecting for the past several de-
cades. For example, the native
riverbank and creekside habitat of
wild rock grapes, which are prized as
a rootstock base for nearly all U.S.
and European commercial grapes, is
very threatened. In situ preservation
may be the only way to ensure that
these grapes continue to survive in
the wild.
While the NPGS' purpose is
collecting and preserving germplasm
in genebanks-and not onsite conser-
vation-the two do share common
goals and can go hand in hand.
Few of the world's 8,500 national
parks and other protected areas were


established with specific concern for
conserving wild crop relatives and
other plants for their potential
contributions to food production. For
in situ preservation to work on a
large scale, extensive cataloging of
the occurrence of plants will be
needed, and germplasm preservation
as a goal will need to be made a part
of comprehensive conservation
planning.
One issue of in situ preservation
that has to be worked out is how to
have plant samples available on
demand to breeders and researchers.
But when measured against the
expense of storing and growing out
seed, re-collecting samples from
well-catalogued in situ preserves in
response to requests may be econom-
ically feasible.
Even so, in situ preservation can-
not do the whole job. It can only
work as a complement to traditional
plant collection and preservation.
Preserving the genetic diversity of
important crops is essential to the
future of agriculture in the United
States and around the world. The
genes to add new traits such as
tolerance to diseases and resistance to
insect pests, as well as extension of
the climatic range in which crops can
be grown, are often present in wild
relatives. But unless we preserve
these sources of genetic diversity, the
genes will not be there when we need
them.

Allan K. Stoner
National Germplasm Resources
Laboratory; Beltsville, Maryland


Agricultural Research/December 1998








December 1998
Vol. 46, No. 12
ISSN 0002-161X


Agnricrlural Re search is published monthly by
the Agricultural Research Seri ice. U.S. Depart-
ment of Agnrculture LISDAi. The Secretar\ of
Agnculture has determined that this periodical is
necessary in the transaction of public business
required by law.
Dan Glickman, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
I Mileh Gonzalez. Under Secretan
Research Educatin. and Economics
Flokd P. Horn. ~dmirnstratlor
Agncultural Research Service
Sandy Miller Hays, Director
Information Staff
Editor: Lloyd McLaughlin (301) 504-1651
Assoc. Editor: Linda McElreath (301) 504-1658
Art Director: William Johnson (301) 504-1659
Photo Editor: Anita Daniels (301) 504-1609
Staff Photographer: Scott Bauer (301) 504-1607
Information in 'his magazine is public property
and ma\ be reprinted withoutt permission. Non-
cop righted photos are available to mass media in
color transparencies. Order b} photo number and
date of magazine issue.
Agricultural Research magazine articles and
photographs are posted on the World Wide Web
monthly at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/.
Subscription requests should be placed with New
Orders; Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box
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Complimentary 1-year subscriptions are available
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and the news media. Send requests or comments
to: Editor, Agricultural Research, 5601 Sunny-
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Imclaugh@asrr.arsusda.gov
This magazine may report research involving pes-
ticides. It does not contain recommendations for
their ue. nor does it impli that uses discussed
herein hate been registered \I! uses of pesticide~
mut be rcgitered b\ appropriate -tate and/or
federal agencies belore the\ can be recommended
Reference to any commercial product or service
is made with the understanding that no discrimi-
nation is intended and no endorsement by USDA
is implied.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits
di's nmlnmaion in all its programs and activities
on the basis .f race, color, national origin,
gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs,
sexual orientation, and marital or ramils statu.
(Not all prohibited ba-es applN to all programs:')
Persons w !th disabilities w ho require alternali e
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opportunity provider and employer.

Agricultural Research/December 1998


Agricultural Research



Why In Situ? 4

The Secret of Free-Branching Poinsettias 9

Revolutionizing Hybrid Corn Production 10

Faster, Better Food Analysis 12

Nutrim Enhances Foods' Nutritional Value 15

OUTBREAK-Containing the Hong Kong Poultry Flu 16

Yeast May Inhibit Salmonella 18

A Possible Preventive for Phylloxera 1

A Currant Treat for All Seasons 19


Genetically Engineered Vaccine for Shipping Fever 20

Science Update 21

1998 Index 22



Cover: Botanist Diane Pavek (center, foreground) examines rock grapes growing at a
proposed conservation site within Great Falls National Park in Maryland. Photo by
Scott Bauer. (K8274-13)


In the next issue!

o The Chesapeake Bay's watershed-all the land that drains
into it-covers 64,000 square miles, but that is not where all the
bay's pollution comes from. ARS scientists are helping map pos-
sible airborne origins of pesticides, nitrogen oxide, heavy metals,
and other toxic compounds.

) For farmers, headaches begin when approved drugs fail to
protect their sheep, goats, and cattle from the barberpole worm-
one of the world's most loathsome and widespread stomach
parasites.

| Each year, coccidiosis costs poultry producers worldwide an
estimated $600 million in treatments and low carcass weights.
Now this single-cell protozoa seems to be "thumbing its nose" at
drugs given to prevent its outbreak.
















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Finding and Protecting Wild Relatives of American Crops


ast year, Diane Pavek spent
the summer exploring more
than 12,000 miles across
states from Pennsylvania to
Texas. She was searching for
rock grape, Vitis rupestris, one of 15
species of wild native American
grapes.
Her mission: preserving popula-
tions of native rock grape plants in
situ, on site in their native habitat, as
part of an ecological preserve. It's an
ongoing activity of the National Plant
Germplasm System. The system
stores, catalog, preserves, and
enhances germplasm of individual
plants or plant populations with
unique genetic makeup for breeding
new plant varieties.
Most of the seeds and plant B
tissues that are in the germplasm
system have come from foreign
countries, since few major food
or fiber crops are native to the
United States.
But the United States has some
native plants that are related to
valuable cultivated plant species.
These include wild relatives of
grapes, sunflowers, Jerusalem
artichokes, potatoes, onions,
garlic, and several species of
nuts, small fruits, and forage fi
in
grasses.
"Wild ancestors and relatives
of cultivated plants are the key to
genetic diversity that gives us the
sustained ability to develop new plant
varieties that can resist pests, diseas-
es, and environmental stresses," says
Pavek, an ARS botanist in the Plant
Exchange Office of the National
Germplasm Resources Laboratory.
The laboratory is located at ARS'
Beltsville (Maryland) Agricultural
Research Center.
"As the habitat where plants grow
wild continues to shrink, many
valuable plant species and varieties
are disappearing forever," Pavek
says. Rock grape, in fact, is listed by

Agricultural Research/December 1998


The Nature Conservancy-a non-
profit plant, animal, and habitat
conservation organization-as
vulnerable to extinction because of
habitat loss.
"But we may not need to put all
the wild relatives of a crop into a
gene bank. It may be more practical
to preserve these native plant species
in place," says Pavek.
Grapes, onions, and potatoes are
among the many crops that may
benefit from this strategy.

Natives With Proven Genetic Value
Preserving rock grape germplasm
isn't just insurance for the future-it
has already proved its importance.


Vild Allium belonging to the onion, garlic, and leek
imily bloom on the Turnbull National Wildlife Refug
Eastern Washington.


"Rock grape is prized as rootstock
and breeding material because of its
excellent disease and insect resis-
tance and adaptability to harsh
environmental conditions," Pavek
says.
In the late 1800s, rock grape was
one of two native American grape
species that saved European vine-
yards from phylloxera, an insect pest
that threatened to wipe out European
viticulture and is still a threat to
grape crops worldwide.
Back then, nearly all European
grapes were grown on their own
rootstock. "Today," says Bruce


Reisch, a Cornell University grape
breeder, "all European grapes are
grafted onto rock grape rootstock or
rock grape hybrid rootstock."
After exhaustively researching
regional and local U.S. herbarium
collections for specimens, Pavek
went looking for rock grape across 10
states. The sites she looked at were
gravel bars or rocky areas along
rivers and large creeks, the only
settings where rock grape grows.
Flooding easily uproots and redepos-
its the plants along the waterways.
At each site, Pavek took leaf
samples for DNA screening and
made measurements of the plants.
"Characterizing genetic diversity
and its distribution throughout the
species' range enhances our
understanding of adaptation and
survival of wild species. It also
ensures that genetic resources are
available for study or use in
breeding programs," she says.
Back at the lab, Pavek analyzed
the physical structure of 238 plants
growing along 19 waterways.
Such analyses emphasized differ-
ent aspects of the plant for choos-
ing populations for in situ pre-
serves. She found significant
,e differences in physical structure-
called morphology-among and
within these populations for all the
variables she measured.
"These analyses suggest that in
situ preserves may be necessary in
the western, central, and eastern parts
of the rock grape's range," says
Pavek. She has proposed seven
populations in four states as in situ
preserves.
She also sent samples from 113
plants to Warren F. Lamboy, grape
germplasm curator with the USDA-
ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit at
Cornell University in Geneva, New
York. He evaluated plant populations
for their genetic diversity using DNA
markers.













"Certain populations were more
diverse than others," he says. "And
some displayed unique DNA charac-
teristics that make them more worth
preserving."
"What's most alarming," Pavek
says of her exploration experience,
"is the loss of places where the grapes
were previously reported as growing.
Of the 60 sites in 10 states originally
described in U.S. herbarium collec-
tions, we discovered just 24 popula-
tions of rock grapes growing in only
9 states.
"Such losses are proof that ARS in
situ preservation efforts are well war-
ranted," Pavek continues. "Setting up
preserves for most major wild rela-
tives of crops could save these nation-
al treasures for future generations."


Pavek hopes her experience with
rock grapes as a pilot project will be
used to create other in situ preserves
throughout the United States.

Investigating Wild Onions
Like rock grapes, native onion
plants grow in rocky, wild places
with thin, dry soils.
"When we tried to grow out our
native onion species to get more
seeds, they often didn't survive or
produce many," says ARS curator
Barbara C. Hellier. She takes care of
germplasm for the wild species of the
genus Allium, which includes onions,
garlic, and leeks, at the ARS Western
Regional Plant Introduction Station
in Pullman, Washington.


Project gardener Charles Fernandez demonstrates pollination techniques used to propagate
seed of wild potatoes maintained at the U.S. Potato Genebank in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.


Wild Allium seeds often need very specific
conditions to germinate that can't be
reproduced easily at germplasm
repositories. This Douglas' onion thrives on
the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge west
of Spokane, Washington.



The reason for the poor growth,
she says, is likely that the researchers
were trying to grow the plants in the
rich soils of eastern Washington,
rather than on the rocky mountain-
sides where the plants normally
thrive.
"Wild Allium seeds may need very
specific conditions to germinate that
we can't reproduce easily at the lab,"
Hellier says. "So we decided to see if
we could maintain the collections in
situ."
If it works, the scientists will be
able to conserve many more native
Allium species. The station currently
houses 87 of the world's 500 total-
but only 6 of the more than 60
American natives. In the United
States, cultivated onion and garlic
crops are worth more than $900
million annually.
As a pilot test, they're looking at
three species of wild onion in Wash-


Agricultural Research/December 1998













ington: Douglas' onion (Allium
columbianum) and Geyer's onion (A.
geyeri) at the Turnbull National
Wildlife Refuge west of Spokane and
fringed onion (A. fibrillum) in the
Umatilla National Forest outside of
Dayton. "The advantage to these
locations is that they have a large
population of plants, and the areas
are not likely to have a lot of distur-
bance," Hellier says.
She's found two additional sites
where each of the three species
grows. To ensure that sufficient
genetic diversity is preserved, Hellier
will take samples of each species
from all four sites and screen them
for genetic diversity.
The in situ sites will serve as
sources for seed that would be stored
in Pullman. At the same time,
scientists will be monitoring the
status of the wild populations.
"If there's a threat to a certain
population, we can recommend that
action be taken," she says.

Project Confirms Germplasm
Protection Is Needed
In situ preservation can also help
scientists evaluate the existing
genebank program for crops that
have been cultivated and stored
throughout history-like potatoes.
Around A.D. 400, the Incas of
Peru not only relied on the potato as
a major food source, they actually
measured time by how long it took to
cook one. Today we have wrist-
watches and clocks to tell time, but
the cultivated potato, Solanum
tuberosum, still holds a place of high
esteem in our society. In fact, the
nutritious and versatile potato is
eaten more than any other vegetable
in the United States and is the
world's fourth most important food
crop after rice, wheat, and corn.
USDA's Economic Research
Service estimates U.S. potato produc-


Agricultural Research/December 1998


tion at nearly 48 billion pounds a
year, while over 620 billion pounds
are grown worldwide annually.
"But in spite of its virtues, the
potato needs improvement," says
John B. Bamberg, ARS potato
geneticist and project leader for the
U.S. Potato Genebank in Sturgeon
Bay, Wisconsin.
Potatoes are susceptible to a wide
range of diseases and pests. Fortu-
nately, the potato has about 250 close
relatives growing in the wild. These
"cousins" carry resistance genes that
have helped them survive for centu-
ries. The Sturgeon Bay genebank
holds nearly 5,000 samples of over
150 potato species in the national
collection.
Where are these wild species?
Bamberg doesn't have to climb the
Andes to find two important wild
species-Solanum jamesii and S.
fendleri. Researchers are preserving
the genetic diversity of this pair of
wild potatoes in two ways: ex situ-
in the artificial environment of
genebanks; and in situ-where nature
placed them. Bamberg and others
have found them growing on public
lands in the southwestern United
States.
S. fendleri grows in the mountains
of west Texas and in the southern
half of New Mexico and Arizona. S.
jamesii has been found in the same
places and northward into Utah and
Colorado, often near archeological
excavation sites.
"Wild tubers found in the South-
west are similar to common potatoes,
except they're small-about the size
of marbles," says Bamberg. "But
they represent a veritable treasure
chest of genetic diversity for poten-
tially useful traits that may someday
be bred into new varieties."
Bamberg began exploring these
areas in 1992 to help address the
concerns of the Association of Potato
Intergenebank Collaborators (APIC).


SCOTT BAUER (K8265-7


Although small tubers are typical of wild
potato species, geneticist John Bamberg
says genes for desirable characteristics may
also be present.


Genebank managers needed to
scientifically evaluate their methods
of preserving genebank diversity. So
Bamberg recollected both S. fendleri
and S. jamesii from the original
geographic sites where earlier plants
had been collected in 1958 and 1978
and stored in the genebank.
Alfonso del Rio, a University of
Wisconsin graduate student working
with Bamberg, has used these two
potatoes as models to determine the
effectiveness of conservation meth-
ods used in the genebank.
With random amplified polymor-
phic DNA (RAPD) analysis, del Rio
compared the genetic fingerprints of
the seedlots of S. fendleri and S.
jamesii produced in the genebank
with those of the parent populations
from which they originated. In each
case, the comparison showed that
propagation in the genebank did not
greatly change the genetic composi-
tion of populations.












"These results confirm that our ex
situ methods of increasing seed in
genebanks are sufficiently thorough
and that we are not losing much
genetic diversity," says Bamberg.
"An astonishing fact, however, is
that the recent collections from the
wild were very different from the
original samples collected from
exactly the same site decades earli-
er," Bamberg says. "That knowledge


States from Mexico. How genetic
diversity could have been influenced
by geographic factors such as
latitude, climate, and other flora and
fauna in the area is under
investigation.
"Potato remains recently discov-
ered in ruins now also provide the
first solid evidence that the wild
potato species were used by ancient
native people in the region," says


Data specialist Jesse Schartner (left) and geneticist John Bamberg examine wild potato
plants grown out from seed stored at the U.S. Potato Genebank.


is an important clue that these re-
collections from in situ populations
may be a source of unique new
germplasm for world genebanks.
"Thus, these wild populations
should not be viewed as just dupli-
cate backups of populations pre-
served in genebanks," he says.
Why are populations at different
sites genetically different, and how
did these wild populations become
distributed in the current locations?
Potatoes moved north into the United


Bamberg. The Hopi and Navajo
Indians ate potatoes prepared in
dishes made of a special clay to
neutralize bitter alkaloids. Similarly,
the Pueblo and Zuni Indians are
known to have eaten potatoes.
Germplasm like these wild pota-
toes is becoming more and more
valuable. One reason is that concerns
about use of pesticides and fungi-
cides to control plant diseases and
pests have made genetic solutions
found in germplasm more appealing.


"The beauty of maintaining the
natural populations of crop species in
their native habitat is that the evolu-
tionary processes continue," says
ARS horticulturist Ned J. Garvey,
who heads the Beltsville Plant
Exchange Office. "The plant popula-
tions continue to be challenged by
insects, diseases, animals, droughts,
and fires-and they change genetical-
ly in response to these challenges."
"Our goal in the in situ program is
to make landowners like the National
Park Service aware that there are
genetically important plant popula-
tions on their land," says Garvey.
"We ask landowners to not take
action that would jeopardize these
populations, to allow us continued
access to them, and to alert us to
possible threats."-By Hank Beck-
er, Linda McGraw, and Kathryn
Barry Stelljes, ARS.
Diane S. Pavek and Ned J. Garvey
are at the USDA-ARS National
Germplasm Resources Laboratory,
10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD
20705-2350; phone (301) 504-5692,
fax (301) 504-6305, e-mail
peodp @ars-grin.gov
ngarvey@ars-grin.gov.
Warren F. Lamboy is in the
USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources
Unit, Cornell University, Geneva, NY
14456-0462; phone (315) 787-2339,
fax (315) 787-2397, e-mail
wfll @cornell.edu.
Barbara C. Hellier is at the
USDA-ARS Western Regional Plant
Introduction Station, 59 Johnson
Hall, Washington State University,
Pullman, WA 99164-6402; phone
(509) 335-3763, fax (509) 335-6654,
e-mail bhellier@mail.wsu.edu.
John B. Bamberg is at the USDA-
ARS Potato Introduction Station,
4312 Hwy. 42, Sturgeon Bay, WI
54235; phone (920) 743-5406, fax
(920) 743-1080, e-mail
nr6jb@ars-grin.gov. +


Agricultural Research/December 1998








The Secret of Free-Branching Poinsettias


Even though
poinsettias are
sold for only about
1 month a year, these
Christmastime favorites
are among the highest
grossing ornamental crops
in the United States, generat-
ing over $200 million annually in
wholesales.
In plant pathologist Ing-Ming
Lee's opinion, much of the credit
should go to a microscopic tenant of
the poinsettia plant: phytoplasma.
Recent studies by Lee and others
suggest that these bacteria without
cell walls trigger a hormonal imbal-
ance responsible for forming squat,
full-bodied poinsettia plants with
many flowering branches-precisely
the aesthetic qualities American
consumers desire.
"The phytoplasma is essential to
both the plant's beauty and its
commercial value," says Lee, who is
at ARS' Molecular Plant Pathology
Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.
By opening the floodgates for two
growth-regulating hormones to wash
into the plant's system, he says, the
phytoplasma triggers the formation
of axillary branches in a process
called free-branching. So the plant
grows outward, rather than up.
"These hormones have to be in
just the right proportion to one
another for the plant to display what
would be normal growth," Lee
explains.
In its native Mexico, the tropical
plant reaches 8-plus feet, resembling
a small tree. But a dwarfed form
about 16 to 18 inches high adorns the
tabletops and windowsills of U.S.
homes. These free-branching,
Americanized poinsettias also
produce more brilliant-red bracts
than their tropical cousins.
Initially, researchers credited free-
branching to an "unidentified biolog-
ical agent."

Agricultural Research/December 1998


One suspect was the poinsettia
mosaic virus, a well-known resident
of more than 20 commercial culti-
vars. It was suspected because heat
treatment of plants eliminated both
the virus and the free-branching
growth habit.
Until recently, says Lee, little
substantial evidence had surfaced to
truly challenge the virus' claim to


Plant pathologist Ing-Ming Lee displays
compact, free-branching poinsettias
(foreground). Behind Lee, poinsettias
without the free-branching characteristic
reach 8-plus feet.



fame. Other than its alleged role in
free-branching, the virus possesses
few redeeming qualities. For exam-
ple, under certain conditions it can
cause a disease that distorts the shape
and color of the poinsettia's leaves.
Now, however, florists won't have
to put up with this viral "necessary
evil," thanks to the research of Lee,
ARS colleague Dawn Gundersen-
Rindal, and a team of collaborating
scientists led by Michael Klopmeyer,


of Ball FloraPlant in West Chicago,
Illinois.
Not only did they show conclu-
sively the poinsettia mosaic virus
plays no part in free-branching, they
developed a method for keeping it
out of poinsettia breeding stock.
That's something florists hadn't
managed to do without sacrificing the
phytoplasma in the process, says Lee.
The scientists' new method of
propagating virus-free poinsettias
arose from cross-grafting experi-
ments in which they first identified
the phytoplasma's role in free-
branching-compliments of genetic
fingerprinting techniques Lee
developed.
Their experiments called for using
a parasitic vine called dodder as a
bridge between poinsettia and
periwinkle plants. Lee says the
disease-free periwinkle serves as an
intermediary gatekeeper, stopping the
virus in its tracks but allowing the
phytoplasma safe passage, via
dodder, into uninfected poinsettia
plants. There, the new arrivals
quickly activate their host's free-
branching machinery.
Lee says florists could duplicate
this approach on a commercial scale
to produce a whole new generation of
virus-free, free-branching poinsettias
from a single mother plant infected
by the phytoplasma-"a rare case
where a pathogen is actually benefi-
cial," he says.-By Jan Suszkiw,
ARS.
Ing-Ming Lee is at the USDA-ARS
Molecular Plant Pathology Labora-
tory, Bldg. 011A, 10300 Baltimore
Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2350;
phone (301) 504-6024, fax (301) 504-
5449, e-mail
imlee@asrr.arsusda.gov. *


























ARS plant geneticist Bryan Kindiger (left) and visiting Russian cytogeneticist Victor
inspect the seed head of a plant resulting from crossing corn with eastern gamagrass.



Revolutionizing Hybrid

Corn Production


F or more than 50 years, one of
the most cherished dreams of
plant breeders has been to
find a way to transform corn and
other cereal grains into super-plants
able to reproduce by themselves
without losing hybrid vigor, desirable
agronomic traits, or useful disease- or
insect-resistance.
The term for this type of
vegetative miracle is apomixiss."
This year, Agricultural Research
Service scientists took a giant leap
toward realizing their dream. They
obtained the first patent on an
apomictic plant-Patent No.
5,710,367, "Apomictic Maize"-
from the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office. Their next goal: to pinpoint
and patent the specific gene or genes
responsible for this trait in corn.
Apomixis is an asexual type of
reproduction in which the plant
embryos grow from egg cells without
being fertilized by pollen-the male
part of the plant.


"Apomixis is a natural way of
cloning plants through seed. It offers
plant breeders a unique system for
developing new and distinctive
cultivars in many species," says plant
geneticist Bryan K. Kindiger, who is
at the ARS Southern Plains Range
Research Station in Woodward,
Oklahoma. "Apomixis will give
scientists a potent tool to create
hybrids that can produce generations
of genetically identical plants that
retain their original hybrid genetics."
Various forms of apomixis have
been reported for over 300 species
representing more than 35 families of
plants. Apomixis is known to occur in
many subtropical and tropical forage
grasses, in citrus, and in wild relatives
of many crops like sorghum, beets,
strawberries, and mangos.
After more than 5 years of research
using both classical and molecular
breeding methods, Kindiger and a
team of research associates success-
fully developed apomictic corn plants
that look, grow, and taste like corn.


Kindiger's team included ARS
molecular biologist Ann Blakey,
ARS geneticists Dapeng Bai and
Yong Li, visiting Russian cytogeneti-
cist Victor Sokolov, Moldavian corn
breeder Sergiu Cealic, and technician
Luida Cealic, also from Moldavia.
"We call the plants our apomictic
corn prototypes," says Kindiger.
"This is the first time a sexual species
has been successfully transformed
into an apomictic form.
"Apomictic corn that can maintain
its hybrid vigor and desirable agro-
nomic traits from one generation to
the next has been a dream of plant
breeders for decades," Kindiger
notes.
"Today's hybrid corn retains its
hybrid vigor and desirable genetic
traits for only a single generation," he
continues. "This means farmers have
to buy and plant new hybrid seed
each year.
"With an apomictic hybrid, these
desirable traits could be maintained
indefinitely, with no loss of hybrid
vigor. In addition, hybrids of many
species of plants that are now consid-
ered difficult or too expensive to
produce by normal breeding tech-
niques could be generated for the
first time," Kindiger says.
For the apomictic corn project, the
genes that confer apomixis were
obtained from eastern gamagrass,
Tripsacum dactyloides. It is a wild,
native grass species with a gene pool
that has a lot to offer corn-traits like
resistance to cold and to insects, as
well as drought and flood tolerance,
says Kindiger.

Russian Roots
Kindiger credits Russian scientist
Dimitri Petrov and his colleagues at
the Institute of Cytology and
Genetics at Novosibirsk in Siberia,
Russia, for their pioneering research
in beginning the transfer of apomixis


Agricultural Research/December 1998













to corn using its distant relative,
gamagrass.
"In the 1960s, the Petrov laborato-
ry was the first to successfully define
the model for transferring apomixis
to corn," Kindiger says. "Using the
technology of the period, they came
close to identifying the particular
chromosome carrying the apomixis
genes. "We have been able to con-
firm much of their early results and
continue to move the project forward,
thanks to newer genetic technolo-
gies," he says.
In 1993, Kindiger and other ARS
scientists began a 4-year cooperative
research project with the Russian
institute to reevaluate Petrov's plant
germplasm and attempt to generate
an apomictic corn prototype.
Since 1993, the team has been
working with Sokolov, who heads the
apomixis laboratory at the institute.
The team has introduced numerous
seed stocks from Russia.
"Petrov's initial apomictic hybrid
possessed 20 corn and 36 Tripsacum
chromosomes. By backcrossing his
hybrid with a corn line, we identified
materials that possessed 38 chromo-
somes (20 corn and 18 Tripsacum)
and 39 chromosomes (30 corn and 9
Tripsacum). All retained the apomix-
is genes," says Kindiger.
"This is a major achievement,
since it is extremely rare to reduce
the genomic contribution to even
18-but especially to 9-Tripsacum
chromosomes and still retain apomix-
is," says Phillip L. Sims, who heads
the Woodward research station.
By evaluating apomictic lines
backcrossed with corn, the team
identified a single apomictic family
that possessed a unique chromosome.
Its Tripsacum chromosome segment,
carrying the apomixis genes, was
transferred to an intact chromosome
of corn.
Development of this corn line led
to the team's applying for a USDA

Agricultural Research/December 1998


patent on apomictic corn, which they
received in January 1997. Kindiger
and Sokolov are named as co-
inventors on the patent.
"It's the first time the Tripsacum
genes controlling apomixis have been
attached to a corn chromosome," says
Sims.
In an attempt to isolate the genes
controlling apomixis, Kindiger and
colleagues have developed a genomic
library of corn and Tripsacum. The


Molecular markers dispensed into
hybridization tubes will enable plant
geneticist Bryan Kindiger (left) and
geneticist Yong Li to see if the gene for
apomixis has been successfully transferred
from eastern gamagrass to a corn plant.


apomixis library consists of about
215,000 segments of DNA from both
corn and Tripsacum.
"This library provides us with
more than 94 percent of both the corn
and Tripsacum genomes. And it
affords us an excellent vehicle to
isolate the specific segment of DNA


containing the apomixis gene or
genes," Kindiger says.
"By systematically screening the
library with molecular markers, or
tags, that have been shown to have a
strong link to the apomixis genes, we
expect to find and isolate the genes
controlling the trait," he says.
"Once the apomictic genes have
been isolated and confirmed, they
could be transferred to any line of
corn or other cereal crops, such as
wheat, sorghum, or rice by genetic
transformation techniques," says
Sims. "Then, plant breeders can use
apomixis to lock in traits like high
yields, disease- and insect-resistance,
and other important improvements in
cereal and forage crops."
The apomictic maize patent has
attracted the interest of many seed
companies because it can lower the
cost of hybrid seed improvement,
says Sims.
Currently, hybrid corn is produced
in blocks by crossing two inbred corn
lines. "Each year, millions of dollars
and hundreds of thousands of acres of
valuable farmland are invested in this
task," says Kindiger.
Sims is working with top U.S.
corn seed companies on details
regarding trust fund agreements.
Under the terms of the agreement, in
return for helping the ARS scientists
clone the gene or genes responsible
for apomixis in corn, the companies
would be able to license those genes
from USDA for use in hybrid corn
lines.
Says Sims, "Developing apomictic
corn and cereal crops could pro-
foundly change the future of agricul-
ture."-By Hank Becker, ARS.
Bryan K. Kindiger and Phillip L.
Sims are at the USDA-ARS Southern
Plains Research Station, 2000 18th
St., Woodward, OK 73801; phone
(580) 256-7449, fax (580) 256-1322,
e-mail bkindiger@ag.gov
psims@ag.gov. +








Fe Bt FdAn


mid the rolling terrain of the
Beltsville (Maryland)
Agricultural Research
Center, where Agricultural Research
Service scientists work to build better
food crops and animals, sits the Food
Composition Laboratory (FCL)
building. There, chemists take food
apart-molecule by molecule. They
work to develop and refine methods
that will allow other chemists to
measure the nutrients and contami-
nants among the thousands of com-
pounds in foods.
"We're in the business of describ-
ing the components in American
foods," says James M. Harnly, who is
head of the lab. "Many times, the
analytical methods for specific
components are lacking or inaccu-
rate. We adapt existing technology or
develop new technology based on
needs."
FCL's customers include com-
modity groups, commercial analytical
laboratories, instrument companies,
AOAC International (formerly the
Association of Official Analytical
Chemists), and several federal


agencies, as well as other USDA
laboratories and agencies. Ultimately,
the work of FCL chemists sharpens
and adds to the values in USDA's
national nutrient database. Main-
tained by ARS' Nutrient Data
Laboratory in Riverdale, Maryland,
the database is the foundation for all
U.S. food composition data.
Nancy J. Miller-Ihli recently
responded to one FCL customer by
producing a far more sensitive
graphite furnace method for detecting
lead in sugar and sweeteners. It can
be used with a wide range of com-
mercial atomic absorption spectrome-
ters, she says.
The Food Chemicals Codex (FCC)
committee, which is under the Na-
tional Academy of Sciences' Food
and Nutrition Board, wanted to lower
the acceptable limits of lead in sugar
and corn syrup because of the large
amounts consumed, says Miller-Ihli.
But there's no sense in lowering
the limits from 500 parts per billion
to 100 ppb if analytical methods can't
detect 100 nanograms (billionths of a
gram) of lead in 1 gram of sugar. So


KEITH WELLER (K8250-14)


A nlgn-perlormance liquia cnromatography system allows AKS chemist Gary Beecher to
measure individual flavonoids in black tea and other beverages and food extracts.


they approached Miller-Ihli for help
in developing a sufficiently sensitive
method.
The acid-digestion method Miller-
Ihli developed with the help of
chemist Ella Greene is even more
sensitive than was called for: It can
detect just 10 ppb. Both FCC and the
International Commission on Uni-
form Methods for Sugar Analysis
have adopted it as their official
method. Not only is this a much
easier, direct method that's 10 times
more sensitive than the official
method, "It saves time and avoids
potential sample contamination,"
says Greene.
The atomic absorption spectrom-
eter with graphite furnace atomiza-
tion is one of the most sensitive
instruments for identifying and
measuring elements. But it has one
drawback: It traditionally measures
only one element at a time. As the
research community became interest-
ed in more than a few trace elements,
Harnly and co-workers developed
technology to measure 16 elements
simultaneously.
In the meantime, other technology
has come on the market that can ana-
lyze multiple elements simultaneous-
ly and is as sensitive as atomic ab-
sorption spectroscopy. However,
these other instruments are currently
much more costly, says Harnly. He
hopes a small venture company will
turn this research into a marketable
alternative.
Harnly and Miller-Ihli are two of
six research chemists in FCL who
oversee individual projects. The
research chemists are supported by
four chemists with temporary
appointments and five support
chemists.
In developing methods, Harnly
notes, "we have to take into account
that a food compound can have many
forms. Some are more biologically
active than others. If you want to

Agricultural Research/December 1998













have a definitive method, you need to
know how the body uses the different
forms." That's why FCL chemists are
working to distinguish among the
different forms of the vitamins folate
and niacin and of the trace elements
iron, cobalt, and selenium.
With help from chemist Gary R.
Beecher, chemist Robert F. Doherty
is developing a chemical method to
distinguish between the three or four
major forms of folate, including folic
acid, which is now used to fortify
grain products. Laboratories currently
use a microbiological assay to
measure total folate, says Beecher.
"Our concern is to get values for
individual folates for the USDA food
composition database using modern
instrumentation."
For commercial laboratories, the
new method must be simple and
straightforward and use equipment
that is commercially available.


Doherty and Beecher should have a
chemical analysis for the folate forms
ready in about a year.

Finding the Phytonutrients
FCL is in the forefront of the
emerging field of phytonutrients,
thanks in part to its collaboration
with the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) and the National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Scientists worldwide are searching
for the active plant compounds-or
phytonutrients-that are behind the
lower incidence of cancer and
cardiovascular disease in populations
that eat plenty of fruits, vegetables,
and other plant foods.
Abby Ershow, nutrition program
officer for NHLBI, says her agency
has supported FCL's research since
its beginning in the 1970s, because
sound dietary advice rests on good
analytical methods.


Chemist Nancy Miller-Ihli prepares to load
sugar samples for graphite furnace atomic
absorption analysis. Along with colleague
Ella Greene, she developed a highly
sensitive and convenient lead-detection
method.


"For example," Ershow asks,
"should women going through
menopause eat soybean products
every day? Can soy products serve as
replacers for synthetic estrogen?


a IN N1NW W a a R N MaNI W i a Nmu u m uM. . i 8 a N aMvu u u N N W MW W W


Food's Gold
Less than one-half ounce of the "typical American
diet"-homogenized, freeze dried, and characterized for
the major nutrients and 31 trace elements-sells for only
$445. And that's a bargain.
The cost of preparing and analyzing Standard Refer-
ence Material (SRM) 1548a (Typical Diet) was $198,000,
says Jennifer Colbert, project manager for SRMs at the
National Institutes of Standards and Technology. She says
the price of an SRM depends on the total cost of materials
and labor divided by the number of units.
SRMs are the "gold standard" of analytical chemistry,
says Wayne R. Wolf of the ARS Food Composition
Laboratory (FCL) at Beltsville, Maryland. Chemists use
these certified materials to validate new or improved
analytical methods and to establish values for less expen-
sive reference materials used in day-to-day quality control
in the food industry.
SRMs with a chemical makeup similar to the foods
being analyzed are so important to research that Wolf has
taken a lead in coordinating their development. In 1993,
he founded a technical division of the AOAC Internation-


al to help make reference materials more available. That
includes identifying the nutrients that need to be certified
and the range of foods necessary to represent the entire
U.S. food supply. "He knows where the standards are
needed," says Colbert.
Wolf helped launch an SRM made of infant formula.
"There were no food-based materials for vitamins when
we started putting this together," he says. With a price tag
of $216 for ten 30-gram packets, SRM 1846 (Infant
Formula) has values for 12 minerals and 17 vitamins.
Since it also contains folate values, it can be used by
millers and bakers-who are now required by law to
fortify most grain products with the vitamin-to ensure
adequate folate enrichment of their products.
Ultimately, says Wolf, the accuracy of food labels and
nutrient data rests on food-based SRMs.-By Judy
McBride, ARS. Wayne R. Wolf is at the USDA-ARS
Food Composition Laboratory, Bldg. 161, 10300 Balti-
more Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2350; phone (301) 504-
8356, fax (301) 504-8314, e-mail wolf@bhnrc. usda.gov.


uia~uuuuuuu uum uuuu uuBunusuuurnuuuuuauuuBuuuuuuuumuuuu


Agricultural Research/December 1998













Nobody is quite sure yet," she says,
"because there are different forms of
phytoestrogens in different foods.
Until you have the methods to take
the foods apart and link the shape of
that molecule to the biological effect,
you can't give good guidance. The
FCL chemists are right in the middle
of that issue."


A custom-built atomic absorption spectrometer
chemist Jim Harnly to detect trace elements in
he examines the pipette tip of the graphite furn;
atomizer's autosampler.



Earlier this decade, the National
Cancer Institute wanted to know
more about carotenoids in the diet.
Evidence was mounting that these
red, orange, and yellow pigments-
such as beta carotene and lycopene-
were protective. Under Beecher's
direction, FCL chemists sorted
through more than 40 carotenoids in
foods.
They found that only about a half
dozen are consumed in significant
amounts and absorbed by the body
and, thus, are biologically important.
[See "Plant Pigments Paint a Rain-
bow of Antioxidants," Agricultural
Research, November 1996, pp.4-6,
and "Data You Can Trust," May
1995, p.15.] As a result of the FCL


research, the Nutrient Data Laborato-
ry (NDL) published a table of the
five prominent carotenoids in com-
monly eaten foods.
Beecher then turned his attention
to a loose-knit family of com-
pounds-the flavonoids-some of
which reportedly reduce risk of
cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Among the thousands
of flavonoids in nature,
Beecher suspects about
20 to 25 are common in
frequently consumed
fruits, vegetables, and
other plant foods.
Chemist Howard
Merken came on board
last spring to develop a
single method to
measure the prominent
flavonoids in a range of
foods.
"We decided which
were important from
scattered data from
allows horticultural science, as
foods. Here well as from diet and
ace health data from other
countries," Beecher
says, noting that a
primary criterion was
the compound's antioxidant activity.
"Whether that's the protective
activity, we don't know."

Reading Tea Leaves
Oddly enough, the first foray of
these analytical minds into flavonoid
chemistry was in reading tea leaves.
Beecher and chemist William Bron-
ner measured catechins in different
types of tea. The most consumed
beverage worldwide, tea is the only
food product known to contain
significant levels of these potent
antioxidant flavonoids.
Analyses showed "there's a huge
difference in catechin content among
black teas in the bag," says Beecher.


Instant (powdered) tea mixes have
little or no catechins. Bottled teas and
herbal teas lack them entirely.
Beecher's group is now examining
two types of estrogen-mimicking
compounds. The best known are
isoflavones from soy products like
tofu, tempeh, and soy concentrates
and isolates added to many foods. A
less studied group, the lignans, come
from flax, rye, and some nuts and
beans.
The chemists are generating data
for a table of isoflavone values being
compiled by the NDL. Beecher says
the analytical methodology for
isoflavones had already been worked
out by Patricia Murphy at Iowa State
University. "But we analytical
chemists are way behind on method-
ology for lignans."
Beecher is also working with
Myron Gross at the University of
Minnesota to study how specific
flavonoids affect early indicators of
cardiovascular disease. The indica-
tors include blood clotting and
oxidation of LDL cholesterol-the
artery-clogging form.
"Gary is providing a detailed
characterization of the foods and
flavonoid-containing food extracts
we use in feeding studies," says
Gross. "He probably knows more
about food flavonoids than anyone in
the country."-By Judy McBride,
ARS.
James M. Harnly, Nancy J. Miller-
Ihli, and Gary R. Beecher are at the
USDA-ARS Food Composition
Laboratory, Bldg. 161, 10300 Balti-
more Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-
2350; phone (301) 504-8356, fax
(301) 504-8314, e-mail
harnly @ bhnrc.usda.gov
miller-ihli @ bhnrc. usda.gov
beecher@ bhnrc. usda.gov.
To access the USDA Nutrient
Database, go to http://
www.nal. usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/


Agricultural Research/December 1998








Nutrim Enhances Foods' Nutritional Value


N utrim, a food ingredient made from barley and
oat bran, may contribute to a healthier diet for
some people.
Developed by George E. Inglett, an Agricultural
Research Service chemist at the National Center for
Agricultural Utilization KEITH WELLER (K8275-16)
Research in Peoria,
Illinois, Nutrim is made
from the layer of cells
between the plant seed
cover and germ.
This new food additive
product comes on the
heels of Inglett's two
other previously devel-
oped food ingredients,
Oatrim and Z-trim.
Oatrim, made from
enzyme-treated oats and
barley, has the qualities of
shortening and is used as
a fat-replacer in baked
foods. Z-trim is an .
insoluble fiber gel pre-
pared from high-fiber
agricultural products like
corn and oat hulls. Added
to brownies, cakes, and
other baked goods, it ..
lowers calories without
affecting taste or texture.
As a food ingredient,
Nutrim's main nutritional
advantage is that it's rich
in beta glucan, a soluble
gum found in oats and
barley. Beta glucan has Already noted for developing Oat
been shown to lower Inglett has come up with another
cholesterol in certain (bowl in foreground).
people, when eaten in the
right proportions in a low-
fat diet.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved
new regulations allowing food companies to claim health
benefits from both oatmeal and oat bran in diets that
contain at least 3 grams of beta glucan per day. Inglett
designed Nutrim to meet these FDA rules.


rim
heal


It's considered to be a phytonutrient because it is
derived from a plant source, has nutritional value, and
lowers cholesterol. Phytonutrient food ingredients are a
growing segment of the food industry.
Nutrim is also more cost effective for food ingredient
makers and food proces-
sors who use oat-based
fat substitutes in their
products; it costs about
half as much as alterna-
tive ingredients.
Inglett made Nutrim
by cooking oats and
barley flour in a process
that separates the smooth
soluble fiber from the
coarse fibers. The liquid
slurry is then dried and
S I ground into a powder.
Nutrim is a mixture of
beta glucan and starches.
When mixed with water,
it flows like a heavy dairy
cream or coconut cream,
Inglett says. Nutrim can
be used in baked goods,
salad dressings, sauces,
and ice cream.
And, Inglett says,
Nutrim may have poten-
tial as a nonfood product.
He's investigating its
feasibility as a cosmetic
ingredient.
"Nutrim flows very
smoothly and is very
and Z-trim, ARS chemist George soothing to the skin.
thful food ingredient-Nutrim Also, fewer people are
allergic to oats than to
other foods, making it a
good candidate for a
plant-based cosmetic
line."-By Dawn Lyons-Johnson, ARS.
George E. Inglett is in the USDA-ARS Biopolymer
Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utiliza-
tion Research, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604;
phone (309) 681-6363, fax (309) 681-6686, e-mail
inglett@mail.ncaur.usda.gov. +


Agricultural Research/December 1998













n May 21, 1997, a 3-year-
old boy in Hong Kong died
of medical complications
from a flu virus, and suddenly the
world held its breath.
Hong Kong and other locations in
China have a his-
tory of being the ROB FLYNN (K8253-6)
starting zones for
world influenza
pandemics-
worldwide epi-
demics bringing
illness and death
to millions of
people. In 1957,
and again in
1968, new flu
pandemics arose
from this part of
Asia. Would
Hong Kong be the
beginning of an-
other one like the
Spanish flu, the
worst influenza of
the 20th century,
which killed 30
To test its effect, vet
million people this breeder stock vi
from 1918 to
1919?
What happened in the months that
followed the young boy's death is a
story of quick thinking and teamwork
between private and public research
agencies, including USDA's Agricul-
tural Research Service. This time, no
pandemic occurred. But scientists got
an important drill in prevention, and
the world got a wake-up call.
Hong Kong, May 21: The 3-year
old victim's physician sends samples
of respiratory secretions from the
child to the Hong Kong Department
of Health. In a laboratory there, an
unusual influenza virus is obtained
from this clinical sample. Department
of Health officials forward this virus
to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta,
Georgia, and to counterpart laborato-


ries at the National Institute for Med-
ical Research in London, England,
and the National Influenza Center at
Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Atlanta, August 1: At the CDC,
microbiologist Nancy Cox faces two


ITB$E
erinarian David Swayne will inoculate chickens with
ial.


big tasks-a scientific one and a
practical one. She has just learned
that the European labs, working inde-
pendently, reached the same conclu-
sion as the CDC: The mystery virus
is H5N1, short for hemagglutinin
subtype 5 and neuraminidase subtype
1, both proteins on the virus surface.
But H5N1 is a bird virus. Has it
changed hosts? More important, can
the infection pass from birds to hu-
mans? Or, even worse, has the virus
developed a deadly new trick: the
ability to pass from person to person?
This is how pandemics start.
One way to answer the scientific
questions, Cox knows, is to compare
viral genes from the boy's sample
with virus from an infected chicken.
But handling such viruses requires a


special lab-a biosafety level-3
(BSL-3)-designed to contain deadly
viruses. CDC Influenza Branch does
not have a BSL-3 laboratory avail-
able for use: Human influenza virus-
es are handled in a lower level of bio-
containment,
BSL-2.
Atlanta, Au-
gust 25: Cox
reaches for the
phone and dials
David E.
Swayne. In Ath-
ens, about an
hour east of At-
lanta, Swayne, a
veterinarian,
heads the ARS
Southeast Poul-
try Research
Laboratory
(SEPRL). He
leads a team of
experts studying
poultry influen-
% Hza viruses, in-
cluding the H5
virus extracted from cu g te
subtype. In
1994 and 1995,
the Athens re-
searchers helped understand an out-
break in Mexico of H5N2, a poultry
virus strain not seen in humans.
Swayne and colleague Mike Per-
due, a microbiologist, have been
working with several companies to
come up with poultry vaccines for
H5-type viruses. Their laboratory has
both a BSL-3 facility and sophisticat-
ed means of detecting and identifying
these viruses. This gives them the
ability to work without endangering
humans or poultry in the surrounding
community.
Swayne agrees to help, recogniz-
ing the importance of H5N1 not only
to humans, but to the U.S. poultry in-
dustry. He offers Cox's group his
biocontainment facility until a CDC
facility can be made available.

Agricultural Research/December 1998













"The offer was immediately ac-
cepted by the CDC," says Cox.
"Having the facility was essential to
analyzing the first virus from the
outbreak."
The CDC experts begin an ongo-
ing collaboration with an ARS team
that includes Swayne, Perdue, veteri-
narian David Suarez, and microbiol-
ogist Stacey Schultz-Cherry.
Athens, end of August to early
September: At the CDC's recom-
mendation, everyone on the project
begins taking rimantadine, an anti-
viral drug. In the containment rooms,
scientists wear special masks cover-
ing nose and mouth. Later, CDC,
ARS, and USDA's Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
upgrade their protection while work-
ing with infected poultry to include
wearing air-filtering hoods that cover


Department, requests test materials
for H5N1. At the time, Sims' staff is
using deadly Hong Kong H5N1 virus
to make diagnostic proteins, or anti-
gens, used to detect antibodies in
blood of infected birds.
While a "hot" virus makes an ef-
fective antigen, using a related, mild
strain that doesn't strike humans
would be safer. Swayne dispatches a
courier with safer diagnostic materi-
als from his lab to help Sims protect
his employees and speed detection.
Swayne also gets a call from Char-
lie Beard, retired SEPL director and
now vice president for research and
technology for the U.S. Poultry and
Egg Association, a key poultry indus-
try trade group. Beard is concerned
about protecting U.S. poultry from
H5N1. Swayne briefs him on the lat-
est findings from CDC and ARS.


90 to 100 percent effective if the
right dosage and protocols are used.
In a majority of the 20-bird test
flocks, the virus that could kill in 24
hours is now defeated.
Hong Kong, December 29:
While vaccine may have been found,
Hong Kong officials aren't taking
chances. They begin a mass slaughter
of 1.5 million chickens and an indus-
trywide cleanup of poultry markets.
Athens, December 30: Beard
calls Swayne, concerned about
whether a protocol for poultry vacci-
nation should be developed, consid-
ering how lethal H5N1 is to birds.
Swayne reassures him one is under
way. This is important, as accidental
infections could endanger the world's
valuable poultry breeding stock and
ultimately contribute to shortages of
poultry meat and eggs.


H5N1 is a bird virus. Has it changed hosts? More important, can the infection pass
from birds to humans? Or, even worse, has the virus developed a deadly new trick:
the ability to pass from person to person?


the head and protect the eyes.
Suarez and Perdue sequence the
genetic material of the chicken virus-
es from Hong Kong and, with CDC,
compare this information to the
H5N1 viruses from people. This
shows that the human viruses were
from birds.
Swayne discovers that the human
virus kills test poultry in less than 48
hours. The virus replicates in vascu-
lar endothelial cells-those that line
blood vessels throughout the body-
and in muscle cells of the heart. The
H5N1 virus from chickens attacks
poultry the same way as this human-
source virus. Schultz-Cherry shows a
host protein that may be a factor in
the disease.
Hong Kong, December 2: In a
fax to Swayne, Les Sims, with Hong
Kong's Agriculture and Fisheries

Agricultural Research/December 1998


Hong Kong, December 5: H5N1
claims the life of a 54-year-old man
in Hong Kong.
Athens, December 17: Swayne
begins a new test of H5N1 's viru-
lence. Using virus isolated from a
blood sample of the latest victim, he
infects a poultry flock of about 20
birds in the Athens biocontainment
facility. Within 24 hours, the entire
flock is dead.
"It wasn't the fact that they died
that struck me," he recalls. "It was
how quickly it happened."
This finding heightens a
previously raised question: Should
there be an emergency protocol for
vaccinating U.S. poultry? Swayne,
Perdue, and Suarez decide to test
three vaccines developed for other
H5 poultry influenza viruses. All are


Washington, D.C., January 8,
1998: Swayne and Beard meet with
APHIS leaders, who decide to ap-
prove the industry's stockpiling of
H5 vaccines, in the event the virus
spreads outside of Hong Kong.
APHIS drafts an emergency vac-
cination plan.
Washington, D.C. January 18:
A joint CDC-ARS article appears in
Science describing the characteristics
of the first human H5N1 virus from
Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, late March: No new
cases of H5N1 have been reported for
some time. Swayne and Perdue fly to
Hong Kong with new poultry vac-
cines they co-developed with several
cooperators. They provide Les Sims
samples, so he can test them at the
Hong Kong Agriculture and Fisheries
Department. Perdue visits zoo offi-









Yeast May Inhibit Salmonella


cials and helps test the vaccine in
some exotic birds.
Washington, D.C., August, 1998:
A joint ARS-CDC article appears in
the Journal of Virology fully describ-
ing the first human and poultry
strains.
At Present: Though the origin of
H5N1 is still unknown, the massive
worldwide media coverage has died
down as the outbreak has subsided.
The virus fades into "old news."
The Hong Kong government, ini-
tially criticized for destroying all its
poultry to eradicate potential virus


Veterinary medical officers David Suarez (left) and Davi
Swayne evaluate tissue sections (top monitor) from
chickens infected with Hong King H5N1 influenza. The
bottom monitor displays a photo of chicken legs showing
physical damage resulting from the flu virus.


carriers, is now credited with pre-
venting a more serious outbreak.
Research teams worldwide, in-
cluding those led by Sims, Cox, and
Swayne, continue to study H5N1 to
find out what enabled it to change
hosts. If they can discover why this
happened, they may be able to stop
similar outbreaks sooner.-By Jill
Lee, ARS.
David E. Swayne, USDA-ARS
Southeast Poultry Research Labora-
tory, 934 College Station Rd., Athens,
GA 30605; phone (706) 546-3433,
fax (706) 546-3161, e-mail
dswayne@arches.uga.edu. *


Yeast is good for beer and bread-and it might even be good for
chickens or turkeys. That's because a special yeast, Saccharomyces
boulardii, may help make poultry foods even safer for people to eat.
It's no secret that Campylobacter and Salmonella are the main
foodborne pathogens likely to contaminate live poultry. A special
problem: These pathogens skyrocket when birds are off feed and in the
transport trucks going to slaughter. That means the birds often arrive at
the processing plant with higher bacterial counts than when they left
the farm.
Food technologist J. Eric Line, who is in the ARS Poultry Microbio-
logical Safety Research Unit at Athens, Georgia, found that feeding
chickens the S. boulardii yeast a couple of days before transport
helped. He exposed flocks of poultry to various strains of Salmonella
and Campylobacter, then put them through a simulated transport.
Salmonella counts increased about fivefold in untreated control
birds during transport. Chickens given the yeast had no increase
in Salmonella.
Results from a second experiment showed untreated birds
increased their Salmonella loads from 53 to 67 percent during
transport. With yeast, the birds' Salmonella levels decreased 40
percent. While some Campylobacter levels did go down, the
treatment was not as effective for this pathogen.
Overall, the S. boulardii yeast's food safety benefits could be
important for farmers and plant managers alike, since federal law
requires them to identify key contamination points and take steps
to reduce risk-including during transport.
id "This yeast is generally recognized as safe for people and
animals," says Line. "We're pleased that results show the reduc-
tion of Salmonella, because that's something American consum-
ers want-poultry that is Salmonella-free from farm to table."
Line adds that there is still much research to be done on this
treatment. First, farmers won't use it, he says, unless they can do
so economically. That means refining the treatment with farmers'
operating budgets in mind.
But the treatment-for which Line has filed a patent-would be one
part of a complete food safety protocol. He cautioned that no single
thing will work as a "magic bullet" to reduce Salmonella in poultry.-
By Jill Lee, ARS.
J. Eric Line is in the USDA-ARS Poultry Microbiological Safety
Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, 950
College Station Rd., Athens, GA 30605-2720; phone (706) 546-3522,
fax (706) 546-3771, e-mail eline@ars.usda.gov. *


Agricultural Research/December 1998









A Possible Preventive for
Phylloxera

When an aphidlike insect known as the grape phyllox-
era louse punctures grapevine roots to suck nutritious
juices, it creates a handy hole that grape disease organ-
isms can enter. The combined effects of phylloxera' s
feeding and the diseases caused by the microbes that
sneak in through the punctures may eventually kill
infested vines.
Known to scientists as Daktulosphaira vitifoliae,
phylloxera is one of the world's most destructive vineyard
pests. In greenhouse and outdoor tests, ARS research
horticulturist David W. Ramming at Fresno, California, is
scrutinizing the phylloxera resistance of popular grape-
vines. And he is investigating experimental grapevines
that have already shown promise in tests of other critical
traits, such as resistance to wormlike, soil-dwelling pests
called nematodes. In addition, his team is raising seed-
lings from the parent grapevines of the best performing
offspring, in an effort to unlock secrets about inheritance
of phylloxera resistance.
On another front of the phylloxera battle, ARS-funded
studies at the University of California at Davis have
produced a convenient, practical test for estimating a
plant's phylloxera susceptibility in only 8 weeks. Grape
plantlets and the surface of phylloxera eggs are first
sterilized to kill any fungi and bacteria that might skew
test results, then are placed inside small, clear-plastic
boxes equipped with a bed of nutrient-rich gel. Insects
and plantlets then grow in tandem inside the boxes, which
are housed in a temperature-controlled growth chamber-
something like a walk-in refrigerator.
The technique is an improvement on earlier approaches
in which egg surfaces were not sterilized. M. Andrew
Walker and colleagues at UC Davis determined how to do
it without killing the phylloxera embryos. The team has
already produced new phylloxera-resistance estimates for
some 40 different plantlets-most grown from samples
from the ARS grape genebank at Davis.
Researchers can also snip off bits of plantlet roots,
right after hungry phylloxera attack, to see if resistant
grapevines form natural chemicals that repel the tiny
pests. These compounds may be a key to phylloxera
resistance. If so, scientists might be able to trace the
chemicals back to the grapevine genes that control them
and, after that, perhaps rebuild the genes to boost their
effectiveness. Or the scientists might transfer the genes
into phylloxera-susceptible vines.-By Marcia Wood,
ARS.
David W. Ramming is at the USDA-ARS Horticultural
Crops Research Laboratory, 2021 S. Peach Ave., Fresno,
CA 93727; phone (209) 453-3061, fax (209) 453-3088, e-
mail dramm@qnis.net. *


Agricultural Research/December 1998


A Currant Treat for All Seasons


Your holiday wines and juices may already contain
black currants. But if growers and researchers are suc-
cessful, American consumers will see a lot more jams,
juices, and pastries made with tart-sweet currants and
their cousins, the gooseberries.
Currants are black, red, or white berries native to North
America and Europe. They are unrelated to the raisinlike
Zante currants, made from grapes.
"Many people in North America are interested in the
fruits, which are already popular in Europe," says Kim
Hummer, curator for the National Clonal Germplasm
Repository in Corvallis, Oregon. Operated by the Agricul-
tural Research Service, the repository preserves and
evaluates germplasm of currants, gooseberries, other
temperate fruits, hazelnuts, hops, and mint.
The U.S. currant and gooseberry industry all but
disappeared in the early part of the century, when federal
legislation called for eradicating these plants in an attempt
to protect pine trees. At that time, a disease called white
pine blister rust had been brought into the country. The
life cycle for this rust requires both pines and plants in the
genus Ribes, including currants and gooseberries. It can
kill white pines but normally doesn't hurt Ribes. Breezes
carry the rust spores between the plants.
Disease-resistant currants and gooseberries are breath-
ing new life into the industry. The federal law prohibiting
Ribes was repealed in 1966, but 17 states still have some
restrictions. Some of these states are considering chang-
ing their laws to allow the cultivation of rust-resistant
Ribes.
In 1996, ARS, in collaboration with Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada, released Jahn's Prairie, a rust-resistant
gooseberry. Growers have been propagating Jahn's
Prairie plants for retail sales. Now Hummer is investigat-
ing rust resistance in currants.
"Several currant cultivars on trial at Corvallis show no
signs of white pine blister rust under natural conditions,"
says Hummer. This fall, she'll intentionally inoculate the
plants with the disease to make sure that they are resistant
and haven't just avoided the rust.
Currants and gooseberries grow best in the northern
United States. They can withstand temperatures as low as
-40F in winter but do not grow well where summer
temperatures are very hot.-By Kathryn Barry Stelljes,
ARS.
Kim E. Hummer is at the USDA-ARS National Clonal
Germplasm Repository, 33447 Peoria Rd., Corvallis, OR
97333; phone 541-750-8712, fax 541-750-8717, e-mail
corkh@ars-grin.gov. *



19








First Genetically Engineered Vaccine for

Shipping Fever


A cure for livestock respirato-
ry disease has long eluded
researchers. This ailment
costs U.S. and Canadian cattle pro-
ducers more than $1 billion annually.
But now a new live vaccine devel-
oped by ARS researchers promises to
substantially reduce these losses.
Shipping fever, as the disease is
more commonly known, affects
calves about 1 week after they are
transported from the cow and calf op-
erations where they were born to the
feedlots where they finish their
growth. It is the biggest killer of beef
cattle in feedlots.
The culprits are three different
bacteria that are usually harmless-
Pasteurella haemolytica, P. multo-
cida, and Haemophilus somnus. Nor-
mally present in cows' nasal cavities,
these bacteria usually don't cause
problems-until the young animals
are readied for shipment. Then the
stress of handling and shipping takes
a toll on their immune systems, and


the bacteria move into their lungs and
cause pneumonia.
The disease can hit the pocket-
books of both shippers and receivers.
Animals that look healthy when pur-
chased may arrive at their destination
with decreased appetite, fever, cough-
ing, and nasal discharge. If they sur-
vive, infected beef cattle grow poorly
and need more time and feed to reach
market weight. The same bacteria
also infect sheep and goats.
ARS veterinarian Robert E. Briggs
and microbiologist Fred M. Tatum
created a live vaccine by deleting a
large piece of a gene called aroA
from each of the three bacteria. With-
out this gene, the bacteria do not
cause infection.
These are the first genetically engi-
neered vaccine strains for shipping
fever that have been made without
using foreign DNA or a marker for
antibiotic resistance, says Tatum.
Most shipping fever vaccines are
made from bacterins-suspensions of


BRUCE FRITZ (K8261-1)

'*,, ,
:^i
.. .. .,. **>
,,-.-^^-


Microbiologist Fred Tatum (left) and veterinarian Robert Briggs demonstrate techniques
for administering genetically engineered vaccines for shipping fever-direct feed and
injection.


killed bacteria-or from specific bac-
terial proteins. The immunity they
confer has left much to be desired.
A live vaccine is more effective
because it gives disease resistance
much like convalescent immunity to
the animal, says Briggs. Similar to
what happens when someone recov-
ers from mumps or measles, this type
of immunity is typically stronger and
longer lasting than that conferred by
killed vaccines.
Several patents on the vaccine
technology have been issued jointly
to ARS and the Biotechnology Re-
search and Development Corporation
in Peoria, Illinois. BRDC is a public-
private organization formed to speed
commercialization of government-
funded research discoveries. Member
company Schering-Plough of Madi-
son, New Jersey, has licensed the
technology to make multivalent in-
jectable vaccines and is in the process
of getting approval to market the new
product.
Meanwhile, Briggs and Tatum are
working on an oral vaccine that can
be given to animals via their feed.
Recently, 100 head of cattle were
shipped from Tennessee to Texas.
Some of the calves received the oral
vaccine 4 days before shipping and
others didn't. All of the calves fed
the oral vaccine were protected,
while 10 nonvaccinated calves died
from pneumonia.
If proved effective, producers
might find that feeding the vaccine is
easier and less time-consuming than
intramuscular injections.-By Linda
McGraw, ARS.
Robert E. Briggs and Fred M.
Tatum are in the USDA-ARS Respi-
ratory and Neurologic Disease Re-
search Unit, National Animal Dis-
ease Center, P.O. Box 70, Ames, IA
50010; phone (515) 239-8639, fax
(515) 239-8458, e-mail
bbriggs@n adc.ars, usdagov
tatum@nadc.ars.usda.gov. *

Agricultural Research/December 1998





New Stars Add Color to I
Tradition
Tall stems of white, star-shaped,
star-of-Bethlehem lilies grace many
Christmas and Easter bouquets. But
these flowers could soon have some
colorful competition. Three new I
varieties of Ornithogalum put forth
yellow, gold, and fiery orange I
blossoms. And the new short-
stemmed Chesapeake Blaze, Sun-
burst, and Sunset may do better as
houseplants than traditional star-of-
Bethlehem. Many flower lovers
know how to force bulbs to bloom
indoors-out of season-by chilling
them before planting. Bulbs of the
new Chesapeake series don't need
cold treatments. Under cool condi-
tions, the plants flower throughout
the year. The new varieties were
developed by ARS and New World
Plants in Escondido, California. Bay
City Flower Company in Half Moon
Bay, California, is the distributor.
Robert J. Griesbach, USDA-ARS
ROBERT GRIESBACH


I
I
I
I

I
I


I



I




Chesapeake Sunset Ornithogalum was
developed by ARS and New World Plants, a
private company.


Floral and Nursery Plants Research
Unit, Beltsville, Maryland; phone
(301) 504-6574, e-mail
griesbac @asrr.arsusda.gov.


Bacterial Recruits Might
Clean Polluted Soil on Army
Bases
A high-tech cousin of some natural
bacteria could become a new tool for
decontaminating toxic soils. In
nature, Rhizobium meliloti bacteria
live on roots, supplying nitrogen to
legumes such as alfalfa. Scientists
with ARS and Howard University in
Washington, D.C., genetically altered
the bacteria so they make enzymes
that break down hydrocarbons.
Hydrocarbons such as toluene in
fuels, solvents, and other products,
can become environmental contami-
nants. U.S. industries generate
several hundred million tons of
hazardous waste annually. But
conventional soil clean-up tech-
niques-excavating and chemically
treating the soil-can be costly and
impractical. Recruiting Rhizobium for
the job is an approach called in situ,
or onsite, bioremediation. In lab and
greenhouse tests, a liquid solution of
the genetically altered strain, R.
meliloti RP4:TOL, secreted enzymes
that degraded meta-toluate, a salt
form of toluene, into benign carboxy-
lic acids. Other institutional partners
in the research include the National
Institutes of Health and U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers. The Corps is
seeking economical, environmentally
friendly ways to clean soils at
military bases and other areas. David
Kuykendall, USDA-ARS Molecular
Plant Pathology Laboratory, Belts-
ville, Maryland; phone (301) 504-
5736, e-mail
dkuykend @ asrr.arsusda. gov.


Agricultural Research/December 1998


Dogs Play Host to Calf-
Killing Parasite
Scientists have made another
advance against Neospora caninum, a
one-celled parasite that causes
pregnant cows to abort. Now, a
University of Wyoming-led team that
included scientists at ARS and
Virginia Tech has shown for the first
time that dogs are a "definitive
host"-meaning Neospora can
complete its life cycle in the animals.
The team drew this conclusion from
experiments in which it recovered
Neospora from lab mice inoculated
with spore structures, or oocysts,
from feces of 8-week old beagles.
The dogs passed the oocysts after
being fed tissues of a separate group
of infected mice. The findings, say
scientists, indicate farmers should try
to keep pet dogs or strays from
defecating in dairy feedlots or choice
pasture. Fencing, for example, could
help prevent a pregnant cow from
ingesting feces-contaminated feed
and transmitting the parasite to her
fetus via the placenta. In California,
Neospora is largely responsible for
calf abortions costing the dairy
industry $35 million annually in
losses. Neospora also inflicts heavy
cattle losses in New Zealand, Austra-
lia, and The Netherlands. And it
plagues other ruminants, such as
goats, typically attacking the central
nervous system. In young dogs,
Neospora can cause death or paraly-
sis. The recent study, funded with a
grant from USDA's National Re-
search Initiative, was published this
year in the International Journal for
Parasitology. N. caninum was
discovered and named in 1988
through studies led by ARS microbi-
ologist Jitendar P. Dubey, USDA-
ARS Parasite Biology and Epidemiol-
ogy Laboratory, Beltsville, Mary-
land; phone (301) 504-8300, e-mail
jdubey@ lpsi.barc. usda.gov.












Note: A more complete index is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/key.htm


A
Abalone, tenderized by papain, Feb-19
Aflatoxin, natural inhibitors of, Jul-17
AgNIC, global ag info source, Nov-23
Agroforestry, for small farms, Nov-15
Alfalfa, transgenic, for new products, Apr-25
Allergies, aroused by roaches, Jun-4
Alum, adding to poultry litter, Jun-12
Ants, fire and pharaoh, Jul-20
Avian leukosis, new viral strain, Aug-24
B
Bacterial leaf scorch, fighting, Jun-27
Barley yellow dwarf virus, Jun-24
Barley, wheat genes for, Nov-4
Bees
anti-mite gel licensed, Nov-23
chalkbrood's causes, cures, Aug-16
cranberry-pollinating, Sep-16
formic acid gel kills mites, Feb-19
managing the business, Jan-23
mustached mud bee, Sep-16
pollens vary in protein, Oct-23
Russian, resist mites, May-23
venom sacs in Apis cerana, Nov-21
Berries, blackberries ship well, Apr-26
Berries, new blackberries, blueberries,
strawberries, Jan-21
Biocontrol against
Asian longhorn beetle, Feb-18
bee mites, with gel, Feb-19
beet armyworms, with nuclear polyhedrosis
virus, Jan-17
Cercospora fungi, Aug-10
cotton aphids, with Lysiphlebia japonica
wasp, Feb-19
deer ticks, Mar-22
fire blight, with Pseudomonas fluorescens,
Jan-14
Formosan subterranean termites, Oct-4
fresh-cut produce microbes, with methyl
jasmonate, Feb-12
Fusarium in cotton, Jun-23
Biocontrol with
baculovirus, against earworms, Mar-25
Biosteres arisanus wasps, Jul-8
borer-resistant sugarcane, Aug-7
Bugslinger and Mite Meter, Aug-12
compressed hay bales, Mar-21
deleterious rhizobacteria, Oct-14
diatomaceous earth, Jul-22
fungus curbs green mold, Mar-27
microencapsulated biopesticides, Jun-20
noninsecticidal ant repellents, Jul-20
oils, spice against Eimeria, Mar-27
particle films, Nov-16
red dye and cucurbitacin, May-11
red dye kills fruit flies, May-23
Saccharomyces boulardii yeast, Dec-18
spiders, Aug-4
sugar esters, Jul-14
synthetic insect chemicals, May-15
Trichoderma and relatives, Jul-10
Biofilms stick to stainless steel, Feb-10
Bioimpedance estimates water-weight gains,
Sep-23


Biosensor tests soil and water, Nov-14
Biotechnology Research and Development
Corp, Mar-4
Biotechnology, test for cotton pests, Jun-16
Bluetongue, midge spreads, Mar-26
C-D
Camellia, Lu Shan Snow, Oct-21
Campylobacter, tracking source, Feb-19
Campylobacter, yeast may inhibit, Dec-18
Cancer, colon, noninvasive screening, Oct-23
Castration, minimizing stress of, Aug-15
Cattle
bull evaluation, INTERBULL, Feb-16
dogs host Neospora parasite, Dec-21
management with DECI, May-16
pasture-finishing, Jun-11
PCR test for tuberculosis, Sep-17
timing calf castration, Aug-15
Cattle, dairy
brown stomach worm cuts milk, Jan-10
coupled antibodies resist mastitis, Jun-17
cytokine wards off mastitis, Sep-22
high-moisture corn feed, Jul-16
milk fever gel licensed, Jul-23
test for Johne's disease, Oct-18
Chlamydia, new tests for, Jun-7
Citrus, fungus fights green mold, Mar-27
Citrus, picker for juicing fruit, Mar-8
Cockroaches, curbing their allergens, Jun-4
Composting fights farm pollutants, May-20
Computer model
GPFARM decision support system, Nov-22
helps time fumigation, Jul-21
Conservation tillage helps beneficial microbes,
Jan-23
Corn
apomictic hybrid patented, Dec-10
-based heavy metal attractants, Jul-23
low-phytic-acid, May-23
Cotton, ginning improvements, Feb-15
Cotton, test for pests, Jun-16
Cryopreservation of seeds, Sep-12
Crystals, carbon dioxide, Oct-12
Cucumber mosaic virus, test for, Jun-27
Currants, disease-resistant, Dec-19
Cytokine, helps cows fight mastitis, Sep-22
Diesel, improved cold-weather starting, Apr-21
E-F
E. coli, heat-shocking toughens, Jul-21
Erosion, stabilizing streambanks, Aug-27
Fats
DHA lowers tryglycerides, Sep-18
health effects of table spreads, Sep-14
saturated, NIR detects in food, Sep-23
trans and non-trans, Sep-14
Fire blight, alternative treatments, Jan-14
Folate, women's needs, Mar-14
Food safety
biofilms on stainless steel, Feb-10
heat resistance in E Coli, Jul-21
poultry inspection, automated, May-4
Formic acid, gel-form miticide, Nov-23
Forum
A National Formosan Subterranean Termite
Program, Oct-2


Biocontrol Innovations, Aug-2
Breeding Designer Plants, Nov-2
Celebrating a Century of Plant Exploration,
Sep-2
Consumer-Oriented Insect Research, Jun-2
New Ways for an Ancient Science, Jul-2
Research That Goes Beyond the Farm Gate,
May-2
Restoring Stream Corridors, Feb-2
Speeding Inventions Along-From Lab to
Marketplace, Mar-2
Teaming Up To Examine Planet Earth, Apr-2
There's No Place Like Home, Dec-2
Fabulous Fruit-Without Fumigation, Jan-2
Fractal geometry, in soil research, Apr-10
Fumigation, alternatives to, Jan-2
Fumigation, timing of, Jul-21
Fungi
source of cah marker gene, Jul-12
systematic taxonomy, Jul-10
thwarting Cercospora genetically, Aug-10
G-H
Gene-mending plant enzymes, Oct-11
Genetic engineering
cah marker gene, Jul-12
cfp gene protects fungi from toxins, Aug-10
cfp gene turns Cercospora fungi off, Aug-10
hspXgene probe for Johne's disease, Oct-18
peptides into plants, Jun-23
soybeans, Jan-22
to control ripening, Feb-12
to strengthen wheat dough, Nov-4
ubiquitin7 promoter gene, Jan-12
vaccine for shipping fever, Dec-20
Germplasm preservation, Sep-4, Sep-12
Germplasm preservation, in situ, Dec-4
Global positioning satellite aids manure
application, Jun-16
GPFARM guides farm managers, Nov-22
Grapes, anti-phylloxera efforts, Dec-19
Grapes, rock, rootstock, Dec-4
Grass, TifEagle, for putting greens, May-13
Hay, compressed bales, Mar-21
Hides and leather, tanning update, Nov-12
Hops, domestic Santiam excels, Aug-27
Hot forced air curbs papaya pests, Jan-5
Hydraulic fluid from vegetable oil, Nov-9
Hydrodyne, meat tenderizing technique, Jun-8
I-J-K
Insects
a simple way to collect, Jul-22
aping their brain chemicals, May-15
Asian longhorn beetle, Feb-18
bee mites, May-23
bees battle chalkbrood, Aug-16
beet armyworms, Jan-17
brown stomach worm in cattle, Jan-10
corn earworms, Mar-25
corn rootworms, May-11
deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis, Mar-22
EGPIC, automated insect counter, Sep-20
Formosan subterranean termite, Oct-4
fruit flies, May-23
Hessian flies, Jan-23, Mar-21
in stored foods, Jul-21


Agricultural Research/December 1998














nematode dupes house flies, Oct-19
pear psylla, Jul-14
screwworm, Sep-22
silverleaf whiteflies, Jul-14
tobacco budworm, corn earworm, Oct-20
Integrated pest management
of leafy spurge, Oct-16
to control cockroaches, Jun-4
to control termites, Oct-4
Irradiation of cattle hides, Nov-12
Irrigation, computerized TDR system, Jan-7
Johne's disease, gene-based test for, Oct-18
KISS, hand-held insect sampler, Jul-22
L-M-N
Leafy spurge, areawide controls, Oct-16
Lychees and longans, Jan-8
Lyme disease, tick vectors, Mar-22
Manure
curbing odors in, Oct-22
laser analyzes animals' diet, Aug-22
precise application of, Jun-16
Maples, two new, Apr-27
Mars studies with CO crystals, Oct-12
Mass-rearing Biosteres arisanus wasps, Jul-8
Meat
detecting marbling in live animals, May-19
shock waves tenderize, Jun-8
Medicinal plants yield drugs, Apr-18
Microwaves, to evaluate ripeness, Aug-23
Milk, nutrients vary among mammals, May-7
Millet, foxtail, in crop rotations, Jan-22
Mulch, colored pine needle straw, Sep-23
National Plant Germplasm System, Sep-2, 4
Near infrared reflectance (NIR)
to destroy insect pests, May-14
to detect saturated fat, Sep-23
to evaluate rice quality, Aug-18
New and alternative crops, currants, lychees,
and longans, Jan-8
Nutrient data, chemical analyses for, Dec-12
Nutrition
dietary fiber, evaluating quality, Aug-15
for teen mothers, Mar-17
kids' diet survey, Apr-26
low transferring levels, Mar-27
measuring folate status, Mar-14
more healthful vegetable oil, Jun-14
of military mothers, Apr-14
phytonutrients for health, Mar-12, Jul-22
O-P-Q
Ornithogalum, colorful varieties, Dec-21
Packaging, pest-proof, Mar-10
Papaya enzyme is tenderizer, Feb-19
Papayas, for export, Jan-5
Particle films, repel plant pests, Nov-16
Peach tree short life, rootstock resists, Oct-10
Peanuts, South American landraces, Sep-10
Pecans, routing scab, Aug-8
Peptides, antifungal, for cotton, Jun-23
Pest-proofing food packaging, Mar-10
Pesticides
fogger sprayer, Jul-14
keeping on target, Jan-20
nozzleless sprayer, Aug-8
"seeing-eye" sprayer, Jul-22

Agricultural Research/December 1998


Pfiesteria
and farms, Feb-4
composting helps control, May-20
Phylloxera, finding key to resistance, Dec-19
Phytase
from transgenic alfalfa, Apr-25
fungus aids production of, Apr-26
Phytonutrients
antioxidant in foods, Oct-17
in foods for optimum health, Mar-12, Jul-22
Pigeonpea, a summer legume, Feb-17
Pinto, better bean cultivars, Jul-11
Plant exploration
a brief history, Sep-4
for peanuts, Sep-10
for wild crop relatives, Dec-4
Plant proteins, protective, exploiting, May-8
Plants send distress signals, Oct-20
Poinsettias, free-branching, Dec-9
Polymerase chain reaction to differentiate
Chlamydia, Jun-7
Poplars cope with salty water, Jun-19
Potatoes
built-in rot resistance, Jan-12
pedigrees of 4,000, Aug-27
vine silage as cattle feed, Oct-23
Poultry
ALV-J threatens chickens, Aug-24
automated inspection, May-4
bone disorders, May-6
curbing coccidiosis carrier, Mar-27
flu epidemic averted, Dec-16
managing manure nutrients, Jun-12
Preempt curbs Salmonella, Jun-27
survey seeks microbes' origins, Feb-19
turkey reproduction, Jul-4
Precision farming
retrofitting equipment, Nov-20
with GPS, Jun-16
Produce, anti-browning treatments, Feb-12
Quality, measuring ripeness, Aug-23
R-S
Range
reseeding with rodents, Jan-18
using rainwater to reseed, Nov-21
Rhizobacteria, deleterious, Oct-14
Rice
disease-resistant varieties, Aug-19
tailored to consumers, Aug-18
Rock grapes and wild crop relatives, Dec-4
Safflower cuts fertilizer loss, Apr-17
Salmonella
bacterial blend thwarts, Jun-27
tracking source, Feb-19
yeast may inhibit, Dec-18
Scrapie, simple test for, Nov-6
Seeds, glassy, in cold storage, Sep-12
Sheep, simple, safe scrapie test, Nov-6
Shipping fever, problem in livestock, Dec-20
Sludge, beneficial to crops, safe, Nov-23
Small farms, growing trees on, Nov-15
Soil
affects weather, Apr-4
bioremediation with bacteria, Dec-21
TDR measures moisture, Jan-7
Southern Great Plains 97 Project, Apr-4


Soybeans
Asian rust species, Jul-20
hypernodulating gene, Jan-22
multiple-use giant, May-12
Spice fights coccidiosis carrier, Mar-27
Spiders control insect pests, Aug-4
St. John's-wort, from Hypericum, Apr-18
Standard reference materials (SRMs) for
chemical analyses, Dec-13
Storage
long-term, of seeds, Sep-12
probe counts insect pests, Sep-20
warehouse fumigation, Jul-21
Strawberries, pest-free, hydroponic, Nov-10
Sugarcane, borer-resistant strains, Aug-7
Sunflower, mid-oleic hybrids, Jun-14
Swine
cryopreserved embryos, Mar-19
porcine reproductive and respiratory
syndrome, PRRS, Nov-23
T-U-V
Tall whitetop, goats feed on, Jul-18
Tanning hides, reduced pollution from, Nov-12
Technology transfer, at BRDC, Mar-4
Test
ELISA, for screwworm larvae, Sep-22
for barley yellow dwarf virus, Jun-24
for chemical residues, with cyanobacterium,
Nov-14
for Chlamydia, Jun-7
for cucumber mosaic virus, Jun-27
for tuberculosis in cattle, Sep-17
genetic, for PRRS, Nov-23
live-animal, for scrapie, Nov-6
Transferrin, indicator of infection, Mar-27
Turkey reproduction efficiency, Jul-4
Ultraviolet light harmful to plants, Oct-11
Vitamin C deters cataracts, Jan-23
W-Y-Z
Water spinach, Ipomoea aquatica, Jun-26
Water
buffering riparian areas, Feb-4
farming affects quality, Jul-22
in-stream wetland improves, Jun-18
soil microbes help clean, Jan-23
waste treating with heavy metal attractants,
Jul-23
Weather, soil plays a role, Apr-4
Weeds
aquatic, water spinach, Jun-26
need a mix of controls, Apr-22
tall whitetop, Jul-18
Wetland, in-stream, constructed, Jun-18
Wheat
improved dough quality, Nov-4
lines resist Hessian flies, Jan-23
proteins impart texture, Aug-27
resistant to barley yellow dwarf virus, Jun-24
separating gluten, starch, Feb-17
Wormwood extract fights malaria, Apr-18
Yew synergizes insecticides, Nov-14
Zinc in vegetarian diets, Mar-13





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