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Research Project: Plant-Parasitic Nematode Genomics: from Genomes to Endosymbionts

Location: Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research

Project Number: 2072-22000-043-026-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Oct 31, 2021

Characterize the genomics of understudied nematodes including aspects of population genetics, mechanisms of pathogenicity, and bacterial endosymbionts.

Next generation sequencing (Illumina and PacBio) will be used to sequence the genomes of a diversity of plant-parasitic nematode. The project will focus on understudied plant-parasitic nematodes of economic importance to agriculture. The data generated will be analyzed using a diversity of bioinformatics approaches. The population genetics of sequenced populations of nematodes will be explored through SNP analyses. Bacterial endosymbionts will be discovered using BlobPlots and bacterial genomes extracted from the sequence data and assembled to allow for comparative studies. Effector genes responsible for the pathogenicity of nematodes will be mined from sequence data and compared to existing sequence data. The project will also involve the development and collaboration of a genome annotation jamboree event for Radopholus similis, to be held remotely and engaging other members of the plant-parasitic nematode research community.