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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443461

Research Project: Taxonomic Identification of all Stages of Nematodes

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-322-010-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2024

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that can cause disease in animals or plants, but they can also be beneficial components of soil. Plant-parasitic nematodes can pose serious threats to crop productivity in the U.S., causing extensive reductions in yield and quality, and resulting in an estimated $150 billion in global losses each year. Crop plants in the United States are attacked by native and invasive nematode species, making nematode identification difficult. Because intercepting dangerous foreign organisms in imported agricultural and related materials is critical to the success of American agriculture, the objective of this agreement is to provide the accurate identification and related expertise of nematodes associated with plants or in soil submitted by APHIS regulatory personnel and state cooperators. This agreement will help ensure that nematodes found in both domestic situations and interceptions at ports of entry for agricultural materials do not spread and cause disease in US agricultural crops or sensitive environmental areas. This will aid and enhance the ability of regulatory officials, plant pathologists and other scientist to protect American agriculture and contribute to achievement of an objective of the parent project to discover new nematode species, new host associations, and new geographic occurrences and enhance the availability of this information in a web-based database to increase its accessibility and utility for the research community.

ARS scientist will provide microscopic and molecular identification of intercepted nematodes and information about geographic distribution, host range and related subjects. Additional resources are made available to APHIS such as accurate nematode names, specimen data from USDA Nematode Collection, database of literature, including entry of new references, and deposition of specimens in the USDA Nematode Collection. Data are continuously added to the Database that now exceeds 48,000 entries with millions of plant parasitic, soil and insect parasitic nematodes throughout the world.