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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 #440854

Research Project: Immunity to Potato Cyst Nematodes

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-22000-023-003-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

The goal of this project is to identify clones from a group of wild potato accessions that confer resistance against the pale cyst nematode and determine if the resistance observed in the confirmed resistant clones may be mediated by a resistance (R) gene(s). The identification of new resistant germplasm would allow quick transfer of resistance genes to current potato cultivars, thereby providing effective tools for the eradication or control of the pale cyst nematode in Idaho.

Objective 1: ARS has established plant growing conditions that allow a good production of tubers from wild potato species. Once tubers are collected, pot bioassay tests will be conducted in the Dandurand lab (U. of Idaho) and the Wang lab (USDA\ARS, 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. Objective 2: 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 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 express novel R genes, which can then be introduced into breeding programs to pyramid resistance genes in U.S. potato cultivars.