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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 #436138

Research Project: Improved Identification and Diagnostics of Plant Nematodes for Sustainable Grass and Forage Production Systems

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-309-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 25, 2019
End Date: Mar 24, 2024

Objective:
Objective 1: Identify and describe invasive and emerging plant-parasitic nematodes from forage and biomass legumes, turf, grasses, and associated rotation crops - including species of quarantine significance - to enable specific and timely management of these pests. (NP215 1B.4, 1B.5) Objective 2: Improve molecular methodologies for the identification and classification of nematodes from forage legumes and grasses in order to better predict and respond to nematode outbreaks and to improve detection and diagnostic methodologies to distinguish closely related or morphologically similar species. (NP215 1B.4, 1B.5, 3B) Subobjective 2A: Barcodes and markers for improved molecular phylogenies. Subobjective 2B: New molecular diagnostic assays. Subobjective 2C: DNA recovery and barcoding from formalin-fixed nematodes.

Approach:
1. Nematodes that infect alfalfa and other forage legumes, grasses, rotation crops, or potential weed hosts will be identified using molecular markers including ribosomal, mitochondrial, Hsp90, and other nuclear genes. 2. New diagnostic assays, including RFLPs, and conventional or real-time PCR assays will be developed for cyst, root-knot, lesion, and stem nematodes or others affecting these plants. 3. Molecular phylogenetic analysis will be performed using DNA sequence. alignment programs such as CLUSTAL and MAFFT and tree building methods based on distance, parsimony, and maximum likelihood methods. 4. Molecular information from the diagnostic work will be integrated with morphological data and information regarding biogeography, pathogenicity, and host range to generate new and improved phylogenetic schemes. 5. Methods to neutralize or repair DNA damage caused by specimen fixation will be combined with PCR and DNA sequencing in order to identify ways of recovering DNA information from degraded specimens.