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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409349

Research Project: Enhancing Vegetable and Ornamental Production by Synergistically Managing Nutrients and Pests

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Biochemical and nanotechnological approaches to combat phytoparasitic nematodes

item OPDENSTEINEN, PATRICK - University Of California
item CHARUDATTAN, RAGHAVAN - Bioprodex, Inc
item Hong, Jason
item Rosskopf, Erin
item STEINMETZ, NICOLE - University Of California

Submitted to: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2024
Publication Date: 6/3/2024
Citation: Opdensteinen, P., Charudattan, R., Hong, J.C., Rosskopf, E.N., Steinmetz, N. 2024. Biochemical and nanotechnological approaches to combat phytoparasitic nematodes. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 1-17.

Interpretive Summary: The use of ineffective pesticides can lead to over-application which can result in pesticide residues and non-target impacts. Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic round worms that infect plant roots and cause significant yield losses in the impacted crops. The use of non-fumigant nematicides for their control has increased as a result of the loss of the soil fumigant methyl bromide, which was identified as an ozone depleting substance. More recently developed non-fumigant nematicides have lower risk profiles than many older materials, but delivering adequate quantities deep into the soil where nematodes reside can cause environmental issues as well as poor nematode control if contact is not optimal. Two relatively new tools, nanotechnology and ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) will allow for optimized delivery of pesticides as well as biochemically based alternative to chemical pesticides.

Technical Abstract: The extensive use of inefficient pesticides leads to the accumulation of chemical residues on crops, in soil, as well as in drinking and groundwater, causing severe harm to ecosystems and endangering human health. Plant-parasitic nematodes are found throughout the world and are devastating to crop production. A particular challenge for nematode control is the need to deliver pesticides deep into the soil where nematodes reside; large doses are therefore often used which can lead to accumulation in the environment. Novel treatments are therefore required to enhance nematicidal efficacy while minimizing effects on the environment, agricultural ecosystems, and human health. The latest generation of nematicides has a lower risk profile, and some are already available to growers. However, the most promising developments involve biochemical control strategies such as ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) combined with nanomaterials that facilitate targeted delivery and controlled release. There are considerable opportunities to use next-generation nematicides more efficiently and to introduce biochemical strategies using cutting-edge nanotechnology approaches.