Submitted to: Midwest Worm Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2002
Publication Date: June 28, 2002
Citation: Agama, K.K., Carta, L.K., Skantar, A.M. 2002. Molecular analysis of HSP90, a multi-faceted gene involved in the growth and development of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes(Abstract). Midwest Worm Meeting. p. 39. Technical Abstract: Plant parasitic nematodes cause in excess of $100 billion of global crop losses each year. Cyst nematodes (Heterodera spp) are endoparasitic root-feeding nematodes, and the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines, causes substantial losses in soybean yield in the U.S.A. as well as throughout the world. The most successful method for controlling SCN infestation involves the use of resistant cultivars, but because soybean populations are constantly changing, the durability of this strategy may be threatened. Crop rotation may be economically unfavorable to growers, and several nematicides have been or soon will be banned from use. Therefore, an urgent need exists for the development of novel, biologically based control strategies. The developmentally arrested juvenile (J2) stage of SCN comprises a vulnerable point in the nematode life cycle, and the genes that control nematode development in response to environmental changes provide attractive targets for disruption. One such target is the hsp90 gene. In the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans the hsp90 gene known as daf-21 is involved in the dauer pathway, an alternative developmental pathway that occurs as a result of extreme environmental conditions such as starvation and overcrowding. HSP90 molecular chaperones regulate the correct folding, activation and assembly of specific target proteins that control normal cellular development and metabolism. The objective of this study is to investigate the role of HSP90 in the growth and development of SCN and to determine the effect of HSP90 disruption on nematode development. We are using the yeast two-hybrid system to characterize the interactions between H. glycines HSP90 and other known members of the C. elegans dauer pathway. In addition we are studying interactions between HSP90 and HCH-1, a putative HSP90 co-chaperone that is involved in nematode hatching. Finally, we are also investigating the effects of geldanamycin, a naturally occurring compound that binds to and inhibits HSP90, on the growth and development of C. elegans as a model for later studies on H. glycines.