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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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CHITWOOD, DAVID J
Research Leader
david.chitwood@ars.usda.gov
(301) 504-8634
10300 BALTIMORE AVENUE
BLDG. 010A, RM. 240, BARC-WEST
Beltsville MD 20705

Mission:
The mission of the Nematology Laboratory is to develop environmentally safe control strategies for plant-parasitic nematodes, thereby promoting agricultural sustainability, assuring food safety, improving water quality, and providing linkage to integrated pest management systems. The mission also includes providing nematode identification and related expertise to action agencies. Specific research approaches include (1) Discovery of biocontrol organisms and soil amendments for suppression of plant-parasitic nematode populations, and elucidation of their mode of action; (2) Use of functional genomics and biochemical methodologies to isolate and characterize hormones, genes, semiochemicals, and other bioregulators and compounds essential for nematode development and survival; (3) Manipulation of gene expression or function to improve plant resistance to nematodes; (4) Use of the resources of the USDA Nematode Collection to better understand phytoparasitic and related free-living nematode systematics and its relationship to target-specific nematode management; and (5) Development of new molecular tools to improve nematode identification and modernize nematode classification.

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