Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combating infection of crops by nematodes is soon to improve

16.01.2009
Nematodes

Nematodes are small worms. Some species are plant-parasitic and infect plants including important agricultural crops.

The typical symptoms of a nematode-infection are withering, seriously retarded growth, and impaired development of flower and fruit. Severely infected plants often do not survive the damage that the worms inflict. Each year, plant-parasitic nematodes cause more than 80 billion euro in agricultural losses worldwide.

Plant roots as food factories

Some of these nematodes have developed an ingenious way of making a plant feed them. They penetrate the plant’s roots and make their way to their host’s vascular bundles, which are part of the plant’s transport system for water, minerals, sugars, and other nutrients. The nematodes select a single plant cell in the vascular bundle system and then inject this cell with a cocktail of proteins. The activating influence of these proteins causes the plant cell to merge with neighboring cells and to start producing food for the nematode. This plant cell - which can become as large as 200 normal plant cells - is called the nematode feeding site.

Nematodes trick the plant

Research has revealed that nematodes mislead the plant by disrupting its hormonal regulation. The plant hormone auxin, which is important for nearly every one of the plant’s developmental processes, accumulates at the site of infection. Later, when the feeding site needs to grow, auxin accumulates in the neighboring plant cells. Until now, scientists have not known how nematodes manipulate the transport of auxin.

PIN proteins

Wim Grunewald and his colleagues from VIB and Ghent University have been studying the role of PIN proteins in a popular model plant: the mouse ear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). These plant proteins enable the transport of auxin from one cell to another. To discover the specific function of the various PIN proteins, the researchers have used plants that, through manipulation, are not able to produce PIN1, PIN2, PIN3, PIN4 or PIN7. In this way, the researchers have been able to show that nematodes knock out certain of the plant’s PIN proteins, while other PIN proteins are activated just to transport auxin to the neighboring cells.

With this discovery, the scientists are taking us a step closer towards fully understanding the way in which nematodes feed themselves through plants. Ways to thwart the nematodes can then be invented - for example, by locally counteracting the nematodes’ manipulation of auxin transport. Because current methods for protecting agricultural and other crops against nematodes require substances that are very environmentally unfriendly, this finding can lead to important improvements in combating this costly problem.

Evy Vierstraete | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>