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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Soybean Genomics & Improvement Laboratory » People » Mark Tucker

Mark L Tucker

Molecular Biologist


Bldg. 006, Room. 207, BARC-West
10300 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Tel. (301) 504-6091





Soybean Cyst Nematode:
The soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines, is the major pest of commercially grown soybean in the United States. It is estimated that root infection by SCN is responsible for a yield loss of between 250 million and one billion dollars annually. A better understanding of early gene responses in soybean nematode infection and the resulting defense response or lack thereof increases the number and kinds of approaches that can be used to control pathogen infection of soybean. The knowledge gained from this research will aid in the development of new approaches with the potential to greatly increase the yield of soybean and its use in different crop rotations and soil conditions.


Nematode Infected Soybean Roots
Nematode infected roots 1 dayNematode infected roots 2 daysNematode infected roots 4 days
Nematode infected roots 8 daysNematode infected roots 12 daysNematoded infected roots 30 days

Abscission:GUS stained leaf abscission zone
Premature separation (abscission) of flowers and fruit reduces the potential yield of many crops. We study the molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in abscission with the goal of engineering plants possessing beneficial abscission characteristics that not only increase yield but also reduce harvesting costs. Ethylene is a plant hormone that controls many aspects of abscission and senescence. Ethylene physiology and signal transduction are an important part of our abscission studies.

Link to Research Projects