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First parasitic nematodes reported in biofuel crops
Date:3/17/2010

soils of Havana, Ill., and Georgia, caused visible stunting of lateral roots and destruction of the fibrous root system. Mekete's team hopes to do further research in Havana to study the interaction between this nematode and biomass yield.

Researchers are now studying damage thresholds of lesion, root-knot and needle nematodes to Miscanthus and switchgrass under greenhouse conditions. Future studies will include host suitability and population dynamics of the most prevalent nematodes associated with these perennial grasses.

In addition to discovering information on the distribution, presence, abundance and identification of these nematodes, researchers also developed species-specific DNA tests to help identify nematodes so future research can focus on developing control tactics.

"Diseases and pests have the potential to cause significant constraints on biomass production, putting the crops at risk for reductions in biomass yield and quality," Mekete said. "Of the many pests and diseases, plant-parasitic nematodes are of great economic importance because they can directly influence plant biomass and predispose plants to attack by other soil-borne pathogens."


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Contact: Jennifer Shike
jshike@illinois.edu
217-244-0888
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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