Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research
Project Number: 8062-22000-021-25-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Jul 15, 2013
End Date: Jul 14, 2014
This project aims at developing durable and broad-spectrum resistance in potato against diverse Globodera nematode populations to aid the efforts to control and eradicate these regulated potato pests. Recent discoveries of the potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida in Idaho and the new species G. ellingtonae in Oregon and the emergence of virulent populations of the potato cyst nematode G. rostochiensis have greatly impacted the US potato industry. Strategies to control these regulated potato pests are very limited and highly rely on using toxic chemicals such as methyl bromide, which is not only costly but also possess serious environmental and health problems. Using host resistance is the most effective and enviromentally-sound method for nematode control. This project will utilize biotechnology to generate potatoes resistant to different PCN pests. These durable and highly resistant potatoes would be used as effective trap crops in PCN control and eradication programs.
In this project we propose to combine engineered resistance (disrupting a basic parasitic mechanism) with natural resistance derived from NY121 and NY140, with the hope that durable and high-level resistance against diverse PCN species may be obtained. These durable and highly resistant potatoes can be used as effective trap crops in PCN control and eradication programs. To achieve this goal, we propose to 1) generate transgenic potatoes with dramatically impaired receptor function, and 2) test the transgenic potatoes for PCN infection. Gene silencing construct targeting StCLV2 and StRPK2 simultaneously will be generated and transformed into potato clone NY121 or NY140. Silencing of StCLV2 and StRPK2 in obtained transgenic potato lines will be analyzed using the qRT-PCR assay. Lines with dramatic suppression of StCLV2 and StRPK2 expression will be tested for nematode infection. Since it generally takes several months to obtain transgenic potato lines, we will evaluate nematode infection on transgenic potato lines in tissue culture. Evaluation of PCN infections will be conducted in the Wang lab at Cornell University (for G. rostochiensis infection), the Dandurand lab at the University of Idaho (for G. pallida infection), and the Zasada lab at Oregon State University (for G. ellingtonae infection). A final nematode cyst count will be collected at 5-6 weeks after nematode inoculation to determine if these transgenic potato lines offer high-level and broad-spectrum resistance to PCN pests.