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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Impact of Climate Change on Plant Defense Responses Induced by Insect Herbivores and Plant Pathogens

Location: Chemistry Research

Title: Chemical signals from plants previously infected with root knot nematodes affect behavior of infective juvenile root knot nematodes

item Benda, Nicole
item Alborn, Hans
item Teal, Peter

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nematodes are a worldwide problem in agriculture, with losses estimated to $100 billion per year in the US. Damage caused by root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) (RKN) disrupts the flow of water and nutrients to the plant and increases the plant’s vulnerability to other pathogens. While studies have shown that chemical signals in the rhizosphere affect nematode behavior, few of these signals have been identified. In addition, little is known about how previous host plant infection alters the behavior of secondary infective juvenile RKN. We found that both susceptible and resistant varieties of cowpeas were equally attractive to RKN. We also found that RKN preferred uninfected susceptible plants relative to previously infected plants. However, when resistant cowpeas were used, RKN were equally attracted to uninfected plants and their previously inoculated counterparts. This suggests that chemical signals associated with successful gall formation results in reduced RKN attraction. Root metabolites were analyzed for differences between infected and uninfected susceptible plants to identify the signals that reduce attraction. Identification of these signals could lead to the development of more sustainable solutions for this major agricultural problem.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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