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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #432602

Research Project: Plant-Parasitic Nematode Management: Amendments, Beneficial Organisms, and Nematode Antagonistic Molecules

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-300-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 27, 2017
End Date: Feb 26, 2022

Objective:
Objective 1: Identify and characterize nematode proteins and lipids that inhibit the metabolic pathways critical to fundamental processes in plant-parasitic nematodes. Sub-objective 1A: Discover and characterize endogenous nematode agonists or antagonists, including bioactive peptides, which affect metabolism and behavior. Sub-objective 1B: Characterize protease and other enzyme profiles in plant-parasitic nematodes, and determine their roles and modes of action in regulating development and hatching. Sub-objective 1C. Identify lipids and steroids with likely regulatory roles in plant-parasitic nematodes and design methods to disrupt this regulation. Objective 2: Improve the effectiveness of nematode management based on amendments and beneficial organisms, and by identifying and characterizing plant, microbe or nematode products antagonistic to nematodes. Sub-objective 2A: Evaluate cover crops, soil amendments and microbes for suppressing plant-parasitic nematode populations on agricultural crops. Sub-objective 2B: Determine effects of natural products from plants, microbes, and nematodes on plant-parasitic nematodes, and evaluate selected nematode-antagonistic products as potential nematotoxins.

Approach:
1. Discovering and characterizing internal plant parasitic nematode regulatory molecules, including peptides, proteases, inhibitors, and nematode-unique lipids and steroids, that act as effectors of behavior, development, hatching and metabolism, will provide novel targets for disruption of nematode life processes. Analyzing external signals, including plant chemicals, and their interactions with internal nematode pathways, will expand the number of molecular targets for nematode control. 2. Evaluating cover crops, soil amendments, microbes, and other beneficial agents, and improving strategies for their application, will lead to enhanced plant-parasitic nematode suppression and improved plant yields. Assessing the biological effects of selected beneficial organisms, and the analysis of natural products from plant, microbial and nematode origins, will reveal novel nematotoxins and other suppressive agents for plant-parasitic nematode control and agricultural crop protection.