NORS-DUC 2013-2014 Request for Proposals OPENS in February 2013.
VIDEO: Plant Plague: Sudden Oak Death, April 24, 2007 (Amy Miller, Quest Norther California)
The mission of the National Ornamentals Research Site at Dominican University of California is to identify, prioritize, facilitate and conduct research related to pests and diseases of nursery stock while safeguarding plant health and the environment.
NORS-DUC is the first research site in the United States dedicated to the study of pests and diseases affecting the health of ornamental plants. The facility is funded by a grant from the 2008 Farm Bill, administered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST).
"We have been working closely with our partners to locate, secure and develop a site specific to research on ornamental crops without the potential for a pest to enter the nursery trade. Thanks to all the hard work of a large number of cooperators we have found that location at Dominican University of California. This initiative will contribute to Plant Protection and Quarantine's mission of safeguarding American agriculture and natural resources by identifying key elements that are important to the US nursery growers and will further reduce risk to the nation's forests.”
—Rebecca Bech, Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program
NORS-DUC is a secure site modeled to reflect a nursery for the purpose of performing studies on nursery stock in a “real world” environment while ensuring high level safeguards to prevent the escape of pests that affect plant health. Scientists from the national and international research community will initially conduct studies focused on understanding and controlling the long-range spread of Phytophthora ramorum through infested nursery stock shipments.
P. ramorum was first identified in the U.S. in Marin County, California. Through monitoring, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has found that P. ramorum, the pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death and Ramorum Blight, presents a clear and present danger to forests, the nursery industry and other agricultural commodities and plant life. More than 100 plants are known hosts of P. ramorum, and federal regulations restrict the movement of nursery stock from the West Coast.
In addition to supplying data to control the long range spread of P. ramorum and other pests affecting plant health, the NORS-DUC will provide validation of established Best Management Practices (BMPs) and development of new BMPs for nursery stock production; identify new treatment or remediation options for soil, water and plant materials to exclude, contain and eradicate P. ramorum and other pests affecting plant health; produce valuable epidemiological data on new and emerging species affecting ornamentals; and provide outreach through reporting the results of studies and by engaging students in research activities.