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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437285

Research Project: Functional Genomics of Host Responses to Plant Parasitic Nematodes and Molecular Basis of Parasitism

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-300-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2019
End Date: Sep 14, 2024

Objective 1: Elucidate key genes and processes involved in alfalfa resistance to agriculturally important plant parasitic nematodes. Goal: Identify gene-candidates associated with alfalfa resistance to root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans for potential use in alfalfa breeding programs. Objective 2: Determine specific genes involved in the parasitism of plant parasitic nematodes. Select essential metabolic and parasitism genes that could be targeted for nematode control. Sub-objective 1: Identify and select genes of Pratylenchus penetrans that could be targeted for nematode control in alfalfa. Sub-objective 2: Identify gene targets in sugar beet cyst nematodes Heterodera schachtii for nematode control in sugar beet. Sub-objective 3: Prioritize potential genes targets of Radopholus similis for nematode control in anthuriums and identify potential gene targets of Meloidogyne konaensis for nematode control in coffee. *** New information*** Objective 3: Combating emerging pathogen threats for U.S. alfalfa. Goal: Identify and develop molecular characterizations of new and emerging disease-causing pathogens in alfalfa to prevent potential threats to alfalfa production.

1. Comprehensive transcriptomic, proteomic and functional analysis of alfalfa accessions resistant and susceptible to disease-causing pathogens. 2. Next generation sequencing, de-novo assembly and transcriptome analysis of nematode populations. 3. Generation of small interfering (si)RNA or dsRNA constructs for RNAi-mediated gene silencing via nematode soaking assays and direct delivery in planta. 4. Evaluation of RNAi-mediated gene silencing efficiency for disruption of nematode development. 5. Transient expression of genes involved in host resistance and nematode parasitism in model plants to identify potential targets for nematode control. *** New information*** Additional Approach for Objective 3: Screening of alfalfa field samples by high throughput sequencing; assembly and characterization of identified genomes.