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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #433278

Research Project: Hatching Factors for the Mitigation of PCN

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-21220-002-14-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

As a quarantine pest, Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) imposes a heavy burden on growers, a burden made even more severe by the fact that infested fields may face restrictions for over 30 years because even in the absence of any host, cysts can remain dormant and viable in the soil for decades. Potatoes secrete compounds called hatching factors that stimulate the hatching of PCN eggs. If eggs can be stimulated to hatch in the absence of a host, this is termed a “suicide-hatch.” The objective of this proposal is develop information and methods that will facilitate the use of hatching factors to ameliorate the threat posed by PCN by focusing on the purification of hatching factors, and understanding how potatoes synthesize hatching factors.

To examine potential ways to control or eradicate PCN, the use of partially purified hatching factors will be examined. Potato plants and root exudates will be used from which to extract hatching factors. Different chromatography columns will be used to examine their efficacy in purifying hatching factors. Resulting fractions will be tested in microplate hatching assays to determine their activity. To gain information about how potatoes make hatching factors, target genes will be silenced or overexpressed by generating transgenic potatoes. Independent lines will be used to confirm that the target genes were successfully altered using PCR and by measuring the effect on metabolism using LCMS and GCMS.