Navigation Links
New research to decode the genetic secrets of prolific potato pest
Date:11/27/2007

The full weight of a consortium of world-leading scientists including those who helped decode the entire human genome is being thrown at a parasitic worm less than 1mm long.

The potato cyst nematode (PCN), Globodera pallida, attacks potato crops all over the world and is particularly devastating in developing countries where the potato is a subsistence crop. A 1.7 million project led by the University of Leeds to fully sequence its DNA, hopes to shed light on the mechanisms that make the tiny worm such a successful parasite and lead to methods to sustainably manage this pest.

The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), draws together experts from the University of Leeds, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Rothamsted Research and SCRI, Scotlands leading centre for crop research.

Although there is partial resistance in some potato varieties, it is very difficult to breed this resistance into commercial ones - so were tackling the problem from a different perspective, says Dr Peter Urwin from Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences. If we can find out exactly how this worm works so efficiently, it should lead to measures that will help the potato plant to withstand attack.

The worm invades the roots of the potato plant and injects a substance causing the plant to create a unique cell from which it feeds via a specialised tube. By doing this, the nematode stunts root growth and deprives the potato plant of essential nutrients, which leads to lower quality, smaller crops.

Says Dr Urwin: This tiny parasite has evolved many clever mechanisms that we hope to be able to understand more fully through this research. We have no idea what this injected substance is or how it manages to persuade the plant to create the feeding cell. In addition, its eggs can remain viable in the soil for up to twenty years, with hatching triggered by sensing chemicals released by potato roots nearby. Because of this, once a field is infected, its almost impossible to get rid of them.

G. pallida is an international problem, affecting the worlds two major potato growing regions the Ukraine and Idaho, USA as well as 18 countries in the EU and 55 countries world wide. The widespread cultivation of potato varieties such as Maris Piper, which whilst naturally resistant to other PCNs, are not resistant to G. pallida, suggests that the significance of the worm is likely to increase.

UK farmers spend in excess of 50 million a year in efforts to manage the pest. Infestations are currently treated with toxic chemicals, which do not enter the food chain, but are expensive to apply and can make soil sterile, killing other living organisms within it.

Dr Urwin says that controlling G. pallida is essential to maintain the competitiveness of UK potato industry, which together with processing and retail markets is worth some 3 billion per year (1). We think that consumers are more likely to support UK production that avoids pesticide residues and environmental harm and that is soundly based on a sustainable approach, he says.

The team hope to complete the sequencing by 2012.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
4. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
5. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
6. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
7. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New research to decode the genetic secrets of prolific potato pest
(Date:1/11/2017)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, ... from Foundation Venture Capital Group, Inc., has been named to the ... Johnson, 27,  was one of 600 people in 20 fields ... only four percent of the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... Jan. 4, 2017  CES 2017 – Valencell ... technology, today announced the launch of two new ... the highly-accurate biometric sensor modules that incorporate the ... experience and expertise. The two new designs include ... for hearables, and Benchmark BW2.0, a 2-LED version ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016   Valencell ... sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a ... of electronics applications, announced today the launch of ... for biometric wearables that includes ST,s compact ... Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX ... host a live webcast of its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on ... The webcast can be accessed from the BD corporate website at ... 31, 2017. ... About BD BD is a global medical technology company that ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... to a new market research report "In situ Hybridization Market by Technique (FISH, ... Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global Forecast to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.8%. ... ... Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 18, 2017 ... applying mechanistic modeling to drug research and development, ... PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Applied BioMath, ... for Informatics and Modeling (BAGIM) Meeting on Thursday ... Cambridge , MA.   Dr. Burke,s ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... Executives 2017 in its continued commitment to the advancement of the clinical trials ... current issues related to clinical trial planning and management. , As executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: