Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 8, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
A vulnerable target point in the life cycle of sedentary plant nematodes is the pre-infective juvenile (J2) stage. Nematodes at this stage remain developmentally arrested until they locate and penetrate a host in which to mature and reproduce. Little is known about the molecular control of this process. However, rapid advancements are now possible due to the recent development of powerful new strategies for identifying and characterizing important nematode genes. We are now using these molecular, genetic, and genomics-based technologies to identify genes which control developmental arrest and the processing of sensory information (daf genes) from soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) or root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). Methods for mechanically introducing DNA into plant-parasitic ematodes are also being developed. This technology will facilitate examination of gene function inside the worm, the discovery of modulatory agents, and the development of ways to disrupt gene activity. Increasing our understanding of how nematodes sense and respond to the environmental signals that influence development will benefit the initial design of control measures and our ability to efficiently adapt these agents to changes in target pest populations.