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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335866

Research Project: Biotechnology Applied to High Value Ornamental Plants

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

Title: Plant-mediated silencing of the fatty acid- and retinoid-binding Pp-far-1 gene can reduce development of the root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans

Author
item Vieira, Paulo - Virginia Tech
item Kamo, Kathryn - Kathy
item Eisenback, Jonathan - Virginia Tech

Submitted to: Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2016
Publication Date: 1/19/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5695450
Citation: Vieira, P., Kamo, K.K., Eisenback, J.D. 2017. Plant-mediated silencing of the fatty acid- and retinoid-binding Pp-far-1 gene can reduce development of the root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans. Plant Pathology. 66:1214-1224.

Interpretive Summary: Pratylenchus penetrans, the root lesion nematode, is one of the most important plant-parasitic nematodes in the world, and can limit yields in agricultural, horticultural and industrial crops. To find a way to control nematode feeding, ARS scientists studied the role of a protein isolated from the nematode. Plant roots that expressed a protein to interfere with the nematode’s protein were found to have 44-70% less nematode feeding than control plants. It is anticipated that this protein gene could be used to transform crops of interest to confer resistance to the nematode. Because the protein is specific to nematodes, it should not affect non-target organisms such as humans, plants, and insects. Growers could benefit if crops can be genetically modified to have resistance to root lesion nematodes as it will reduce pesticide used to control this harmful pest.

Technical Abstract: Pratylenchus penetrans is one of the most important plant-parasitic nematodes and can act as a limiting factor of important agricultural, horticultural and industrial crops. Fatty acid- and retinoid- (FAR) binding proteins are unique to nematodes. The cDNA corresponding to a putative P. penetrans FAR-binding protein was cloned and characterized for the first time for this genus. The translated amino acid sequence of P. penetrans FAR-1 sequence shared the highest similarity to other migratory nematodes of the Pratylenchidae family (90% to P. vulnus and 80% to Radopholus similis). In situ hybridization localized Pp-far-1 transcripts to the hypodermis of the nematode. RT-qPCR detected Pp-far-1 transcripts for all nematode developmental stages, with highest expression levels found in juveniles. Pp-far-1 is also highly expressed during infection and establishment of the nematode in roots of different host plants. In planta RNA interference (RNAi) targeting Pp-far-1 decreased expression of the nematode Pp-far-1 and significantly reduced the reproduction of nematodes. Our results indicate that suppressing the expression levels of Pp-far-1 can act as an effective target gene to control Pratylenchus penetrans.