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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Management Strategies for Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: Cover Crops, Amendments, and Internal Molecular Targets

Location: Nematology Laboratory

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Identify and inhibit the functions of nematode-specific molecules (proteins and lipids) critical to fundamental life processes in plant-parasitic nematodes. 2. Improve the effectiveness of nematode management based upon nematode-antagonistic cover crops and soil amendments. 3. Identify chemical components of nematode-suppressive cover crops and other plant-derived products responsible for activity against nematodes.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1. Determining the roles and modes of action of peptides and associated proteases and lipids and steroids that regulate plant-parasitic nematode development and hatching will identify internal targets for inhibition. Responses of these molecular targets to external signals, such as plant chemicals, will identify pathways to exploit to disrupt normal life processes. 2. Evaluating mixed species cover crops and green manures and application of improved mustard seed meal amendment combinations will lead to enhanced suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes and increased crop yields relative to single species strategies. Planting grafted vegetables in mustard seed meals and use of beneficial microbes will suppress soilborne diseases on vegetable crops and increase yields. 3. Determining how nematodes respond physiologically to plant- and microbe-derived natural products will identify compounds that can be used for nematode management, provide efficient and rapid screens for discovering nematode control compounds, and enhance the identification, selection and use of organisms for suppressing nematode populations.


3.Progress Report:
This project began on 02/27/2012 as a progression from projects 1275-22000-247-00D and 1275-22000-250-00D.

Safe strategies for managing plant-parasitic nematodes should potently and efficiently control target pests and have minimal impact upon the environment and non-target species. Natural plant molecules and metabolites disrupt nematode development, reproduction, and survival. Cover crops, soil amendments, and plant metabolites used as nematode control agents have varying levels of effectiveness. However, novel combinations of these natural materials can synergistically enhance both potency and specificity. Coordination has begun for conducting research programs to address these issues. Working with root-knot nematodes and soybean cyst nematodes, we are combining studies of nematode responses to plant-derived factors with analysis of the endogenous nematode molecules involved with such responses. Understanding these interactions at the molecular and organism levels will provide information of great value to scientists developing precision treatment strategies for controlling plant-parasitic nematodes and to growers seeking to decrease chemical use in crop protection.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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