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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #407619

Research Project: Management and Biology of Arthropod Pests and Arthropod-borne Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Killing them softly: putting the fungal squeeze on cyst nematodes

item Bushley, Kathryn
item KIM, DONG-GYU - Washington State University
item HAARITH, DEEPAK - University Of Wisconsin
item STROM, NOAH - Divergence, Inc
item DONG, ZHOU - Cornell University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cyst nematodes, including soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines; SCN) and potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis; PCN) are among the most damaging and difficult to manage pathogens of important crops such as soybean and potato. Fungi parasitic towards nematodes live naturally in many agricultural soils or in the roots and rhizosphere of these plants. Many show potential as either living biocontrol agents or as sources of targeted biopesticides for control of cyst nematodes. Although nematode trapping fungi are best known for their production of constricting rings and nets that actively trap nematode prey, they have relatively low abundance in most soils. Other fungi attack nematode eggs (egg parasites) within cysts or parasitize juvenile worms (endoparasites) in soil. We isolated and identified fungi from SCN cysts and soybean roots that show antagonism against cyst nematodes. We screened these fungi for their ability to directly parasitize cyst nematode eggs or to produce bioactive secondary metabolites that are either toxic to the nematode or inhibit egg-hatch. To explore the role of direct parasitism and secondary metabolites involved in antagonism, we sequenced the genome of several egg-parasitic fungi that strongly inhibited egg-hatch or showed toxicity to juvenile worms. We also conducted bioactivity guided fractionation to identify compounds toxic to cyst nematodes. As many of these fungi also colonize soybean roots as endophytes, we are exploring the application of these fungi alone or in combination with isolated compounds as seed coats or root bio-inoculants to help protect against SCN.