Submitted to: Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
The mission of the Nematology Laboratory is to develop safe management tools for plant-parasitic nematodes. Much of the laboratory's research is designed to achieve control of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) through use of biocontrol organisms, development of natural bioregulators as alternatives to chemical nematicides, and investigation of the biochemistry and molecular biology of SCN feeding, growth, and development Through classical genetic methods, we developed a mutant of a biocontrol fungus with enhanced antagonism against SCN. Current studies are elucidating the interactions among the fungus, the nematode, and the soil, as well as isolating and identifying compounds secreted by biocontrol fungi. Two types of bioregulators are receiving study: chemical analogs of the sex attractant of the SCN and specialized types of fats. We have discovered peptides associated with feeding and oral muscle pumping in females and mating behavior in males, as well as two proteins that are critical for reproduction in SCN. Molecular genetics- and genomics-based strategies are also being used to identify genes in SCN which control developmental arrest and the processing of sensory information. In addition, methods for introducing DNA into nematodes are being used to examine gene function inside the worm, to discover modulatory agents, and to develop ways to disrupt gene activity.