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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #436697

Research Project: Managing Soybean Cyst Nematodes using Engineered Viruses and Self-Propagating Genetic Nematicides

Location: Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research

Project Number: 5012-22000-023-001-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: May 15, 2019
End Date: Sep 14, 2022

Evaluate the use of homing gene drives as a potentially novel and sustainable method to dramatically reduce Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) populations in the field without the need to produce new SCN-resistant soybean varieties.

We will evaluate two approaches to achieve the goal of implementing gene drives for SCN control. First, we will modify appropriate expression vectors to use SCN transcription control sequences for tissue-specific gene expression in SCN. The expression and heritability of transgenes in SCN will be assessed following particle bombardment and/or microinjection. Second, we will evaluate the use of nematode viruses to deliver gene drives to SCN germ-line cells. Infectious clones will be prepared from positive-sense nematode viruses identified under the project which will be modified to accept foreign gene sequences. Tools developed to edit, silence and over-express nematode genes also will aid in the identification and functional characterization of targets for SCN gene drives.