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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 #445601

Research Project: Identification of Microbes for Biological Control of SCN in NY State

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-22410-007-048-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Nov 15, 2023
End Date: Jul 30, 2024

The objectives of this research characterize microbial communities associated with soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in New York state the will isolate fungi that can be either increased in fields through various cultural management practices or applied as either seed-coat treatments or root inoculants. The project will have two specific aims: 1) Characterize the microbial communities associated with SCN in NY state using high-throughput sequencing and culturing approaches. 2) Screen candidate fungi using in-vitro bioassays for ability to parasitize SCN or produce metabolites toxic to SCN.

Specific Aim 1: For this aim, ARS will collect, homogenize, and isolate cysts from farms across NY state leveraging SCN survey efforts. Microbes and DNA will be isolated from bulk soil samples and from SCN cysts. Cysts will be surface sterilized and half will be plated onto media for culturing fungi or bacteria and DNA will be isolated from the other half to sequence the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 16S barcode regions using Mi-Seq technology to characterize the microbial community associated with SCN cysts. This approach will identify the predominant fungi associated with low and high SCN infestation levels in NY State and cultures for testing in Aim 2. Specific Aim 2: ARS will test isolates from cysts for ability to parasitize SCN eggs in a petri-plate assay. Microbes will also be grown in fermentation broth in co-culture with SCN To elicit production of metabolites. The raw filtrates from these assays will be tested for toxicity to either eggs or juvenile stage 2 larvae and/or for ability to inhibit SCN egg-hatch. Specific Aim 2: ARS will perform in-vitro bioassays for direct egg-parasitism or toxicity to eggs or J2 stage of the nematode. This stage of the research will aim to identify candidate fungi that can be developed in future projects as seed-treatments or root inoculants.