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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Research Project #440584

Research Project: Immunity to Potato Cyst Nematodes

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-22000-023-001-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: May 31, 2022

1) Use pot bioassays to determine if the selected wild potato clones confer resistance to the pale cyst nematode, and 2) Use in-vitro nematode infection assays coupled with staining and microscopic observation to evaluate plant responses to nematode infection.

We have established plant growing conditions that allow a good production of tubers from wild potato species. Once tubers are collected, pot bioassay test will be conducted in the Dandurand lab (U. of Idaho) and the Wang lab (Cornell University, NY) using standard protocols that are routinely performed in both labs. In the bioassay test, ‘Russet Burbank’ and ‘Desiree’ (susceptible cultivars) as well as ‘Innovator’ (resistant cultivar) will be included as controls and a final cyst count will be used to determine the level of resistance for each clone. Nematode resistance in host plants mediated by resistance (R) genes is often associated with a hypersensitive response (HR) that occurs around nematode infection sites. To evaluate whether the resistance observed in the confirmed resistant clones is potentially mediated by an R gene, we will conduct the in-vitro nematode infection assay coupled with staining and microscopic observations of infected roots to determine if HR occurs during nematode infection. Clones producing an HR likely contain novel R genes, which can then be introduced into breeding programs to pyramid resistance genes in U.S. potato cultivars.