Researcher Maps Genes of Destructive Parasite

Sep 30, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The genome sequence and genetic map for a microscopic, soil-dwelling worm that is one of the world's most common and destructive plant parasites has been completed by a research team, including UC Davis nematology professor Valerie Williamson.

The tiny worm, whose scientific name is Meloidogyne hapla, is more commonly known as the northern root-knot nematode. Together with related species, it annually causes an estimated $50 billion in plant damage, afflicting crops ranging from alfalfa to potatoes to grapes.

The findings of the group, led by researchers Charlie Opperman and David Bird at North Carolina State University, were recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The sequence data have been deposited in public databases so that other researchers around the world can use the data to discover more specific information about the parasite.

"We are hopeful that this information will lead to the development of more environmentally friendly tools for managing this species and other root-knot nematodes," said Williamson, whose laboratory developed the genetic map for this project.

The northern root-knot nematode has become a key model species in the study of plant-parasitic nematodes, and the completion of the genetic map and genome sequence will equip researchers to ask highly specific questions about the evolution and nature of parasitism.

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: Corn co-products from wet milling may be included in pig diets, study shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft profit dips as revenue rises

2 hours ago

Microsoft on Monday reported that its quarterly profit dipped as revenue increased with help from sales of Surface tablets, Xbox One consoles and cloud services.

Black hole chokes on a swallowed star

3 hours ago

A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole ...

Montana oil spill estimate lowered to 30,000 gallons

4 hours ago

Authorities have lowered their estimate of how much oil spilled from a broken pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana, briefly contaminating the water supply of a city downstream.

Recommended for you

A rare glimpse at the elusive saharan cheetah

2 hours ago

Research by scientists and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and other groups published today in PLOS ONE shows that critically endangered Saharan cheeta ...

In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves

2 hours ago

Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors every step of the way. There are separate, specialized enzymatic ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.