Plant Virus Ecology Network
An NSF-funded Research Coordination Network
|PVEN Core Participant|
Current Activity Profile -- Paul Guy
University of Otago, New Zealand
Plant pathologists (et al.) have a romantic notion that diseases are controlled in natural ecosystems and that we only see high incidence of disease in crops and other artificial ecosystems. There is little factual information to support or refute this notion. My interest is to discover these pathosystems involving native floras and to compare them to agricultural systems. We have unique opportunities to study natural and agricultural ecosystems in Australasia. All our major crop and improved-pasture species have been introduced during the last 200 years and their complement of pests and pathogens has been steadily accumulating since this time. One facet of my work has been to study these introduced diseases and compare their impact with overseas experience. At the same time I have been following these diseases as they invade the native flora.
Current Projects relevant to the RCN
Cocksfoot mild mosaic, Soilborne wheat mosaic and Wheat streak mosaic viruses threats to New Zealand's native grasslands? Currently deverloping diagnostics for large scale ecological surveys to gauge the impact of these recent invaders.
Unidentified isometric virus in the native tree species Melicytis ramniflora (Mahoe).
Currently seeking funds for calendar year 2007 to characterize this virus. Seeking funds for 2008 to assess virus impact on host populations.
Badnaviruses and Retrotransposons in the New Zealand Flora
Work over the last 3 years has determined that 40% of native species contain badnavirus sequences. We are currently testing the flora to see if these sequences are molecular fossils or autonomously replicating viruses.
Virology is a supported research theme here at the University of Otago however all of the other Virology Theme Members are non-plant virus people so the establishment of the RCN would help bridge the fields of virology, plant science and ecology.
My research has been discussed by the local Maori (original inhabitants of NZ) and they (Ngai Tahu tribe) support my work on virus research and the native flora.
Mechanisms for International Travel
Virology Research Theme has funds to establish links- this would cover airfares to 1st meeting. The University funds annual conference leave- this would cover airfares to subsequent meetings. The International Plant Pathology Congress Christchurch 2003 has a trust fund which offers assistance to South Island, NZ plant pathologists attending overseas conferences.
Recent Publications Relevant to RCN
Guy PL. New Zealand Grasslands revisited: identification of Cocksfoot mild mosaic virus. Australasian Plant Pathology 35: ?-??. In Press till Aug 2006.
Pearson MN, Clover GRG, Guy PL, Fletcher JD, Beever RE. A review of the plant viruses and mollicute records for New Zealand. Australasian Plant Pathology 35: 217-252 2006.
Davis, L.T. & Guy, P.L. Introduced plant viruses and the invasion of a native grass flora. Biological Invasions 3: 89-95. 2001.
|Last Updated 27 September 2010|