SCNBase is a website designed as a centralized knowledge base for SCN researchers and producers. It contains genomics, genetics, population data along tools to translate this information in to practical applications. SCNBase uses GMOD Tripal and Drupal's luggage extension to manage the genomics data and empower efficient web development by multiple users.
In accordance with the central roles of phytohormones in cellular differentiation and organ morphogenesis, a growing body of experimental evidence indicates that plant-parasitic cyst and root-knot nematodes interfere with hormonal biosynthesis pathways and their signal transduction cascades to drive the infected root cells into becoming specialized new feeding cells. Recently, we determined the expression patterns of 22 auxin response factors (ARFs) in the syncytia induced by the beet cyst nematode in Arabidopsis roots. Read more about Elucidating the mode of action of phytohormone signaling in plant × nematode interactions.
Recent discoveries from my lab indicate that epigenetic modifications, biochemical modifications of DNA and associated proteins, play key roles in shaping the compatibility of the interactions between host plants and plant-parasitic nematodes. My team is currently investigating genome-wide epigenetic modifications that are associated with infection by cyst and root-knot nematodes in a number of model and crop plant species. Read more about Epigenetic control of plant-nematode interaction
Plant-parasitic nematodes inject an array of effector proteins into host roots to promote the parasitic interaction. These effectors are expressed specifically in the nematode’s esophageal gland cells. While it now appears that these effectors contribute to disease, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Read more about Functional characterization of cyst and root-knot nematode effector genes
In collaboration with experimental scientists, our computational methods are often applied to study specific biological systems, characterizing specific diseases in human, animals, and plants. One such application is studying plant-nematode interactions to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the damage caused by these plant parasites and discover new ways of plant resistance. Recently, we have structurally characterized a homodimeric complex of a novel protein SHMT related to nematode resistance in soybeans. Read more about Characterizing molecular mechanisms of soybean resistance to pathogens
With regard to the nematode, we have been focusing on the identification and functional analysis of nematode genes encoding esophageal gland secretions (i.e. nematode parasitism genes) as part of a Molecular Nematology collaboration with the labs of Dr. Eric Davis (NCSU), Dr. Dick Hussey (UGA), Dr. Read more about Identification and Functional Analysis of Nematode Esophageal Gland Secretions
Nematodes induce multifaceted changes in plant cellular metabolism and gene expression during the infection process that ultimately gives rise to specialized feeding cells (syncytia) within host plant roots. The underlying molecular mechanisms controlling these processes are largely unknown. Read more about Host Plant Responses During Compatible and Incompatible Plant-Nematode Interactions
An effective and affordable way to manage SCN is to grow resistant soybean varieties. SCN-resistant soybean varieties suppress SCN reproduction, reducing the yield loss caused by damage from nematode feeding. SCN resistance preserves the yield of soybean varieties growing in SCN-infested fields. Read more about Field evaluation of SCN-resistant soybean varieties
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