Dr. Ochoa Corona received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida and is a forensic plant pathologist, specializing in developing and delivering reference diagnostics for exotic, naturalized, and indigenous plant viruses and other phytopathogens of relevance to agricultural biosecurity and microbial forensics. He then served as Principle Advisor, Virology, of the Investigation and Diagnostic Centre (IDC) at Biosecurity New Zealand (BNZ), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), in Auckland, NZ. His work is applicable to plant pathogens that can be intercepted at borders or detected by general surveillance of field settings or within transitional facilities.
Dr. Ochoa Corona moved to IBMF, at OSU, in 2008. His current research includes adaptation and development of novel tools for sampling, pathogen detection and discrimination and diagnostics. Also targeted are the identification of molecular landmarks and signatures, and the implications of such genetic data for elucidating taxonomic relationships, host-pathogen associations and pathogen detection (including select agents and other high consequence microorganisms). Of particular interest are the prediction of biosecurity threats, monitoring of the disease dynamics of relevant plant pathogens, tracking of their global dispersal routes and delimiting their bio-geographic distribution.
- Ag. Eng., University of Zulia State, Venezuela
- M.S., University of Central Venezuela, Plant Protection
- Ph.D., University of Florida, Plant Pathology
- Postdoc, University of Florida, Plant Virology
F.M. Ochoa Corona’s research contributes new detection and diagnostic methods for agricultural biosecurity and forensic plant pathology applications. The new diagnostic technologies are to support efforts for speeding detection at the point of care or the field mainly by non-skilled operators and to assist prioritization during disease emergency management and prediction of biosecurity threats. Research focuses on 1) the use of plant viruses and phytopathogens as alternatives for biomedical surrogate research. 2) Viruses infecting wheat, cucurbits, ornamentals (roses and chrysanthemums), waterborne plant viruses, and phytopathogens threatening agriculture. 3) Developing methods for regulatory plant health emergencies and microbial forensics applications such as the Electronic-probes Diagnostic Nucleic-acid Analysis (EDNA). 4) Development and adaptation of technologies for sampling, for example, coupling the use of the Elution Independent collection device (EICD) with molecular identification and discrimination of microbial genomic landmarks, such as isothermal nucleic acid amplification methods. One U.S. Provisional Patent Application was submitted and eight scientific articles in refereed journals were published during 2019-2020.
Sponsors: OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR); OSU Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer; American Flower Endowment, USDA-CSREES; USDA-SCRI; ODAFF-SCGP. USDA-NIFA-SCRI.