Detecting Viruses in Grape Leaves

Student Name: 
Divya Bhaskar
UCD Department: 
Plant Science
UCD Mentor: 
Vicki Klassen

Viruses in grapevine plants tend to be unevenly distributed which means a virus may be located in the basal (lower leaves) of the grapevine, or in younger leaves. This is a major problem for farmers all throughout California, because they do not know how many samples must be sent to the lab in order to be sure the results of the test are accurate.  The purpose of Divya’s project is to determine the incidence of false negatives in grapevines infected with one or more of the five viruses. Divya will collect infected plant samples on the UC Davis vineyards, and then she will process these samples in the lab using a variety of techniques and machines such as real-time PCR in order to extract the plants’ RNA. Divya’s project will occur in the Foundation Plant Science Department regarding viticulture under the guidance of researcher Vicki Klaasen.