Pests, Trials and Tribulations
Dr Peter Urwin University of Leeds Sponsored by THISTLE SCIENTIFIC
Potato cyst nematode costs the UK potato industry an estimated £43m/year. Control often depends on nematicides that are harmful both to the environment and possibly human health but often essential for economic potato cropping in the UK. Nematode location of plants and their subsequent root invasion relies on chemoreception. Expression of synthetic peptides in plant roots can disrupt invasion after uptake into certain nematode chemoreceptive sensilla and retrograde transport along their neurons. We have defined the potential of these peptides for the control of nematodes. In addition we have analysed the potential of coupling this technology with other biotechnological traits that target nematode establishment. The aim of the work is to establish the potential of a fully biosafe, biotechnological solution to nematode parasitism. Non-target nematodes form a dominant group of soil meiofauna, and occur in all soil types, with both high abundance and biodiversity. We have developed existing molecular approaches to monitor changes in nematode abundance or prevalence in the soils to help establish any potential impact of the technology on soil health. The work has culminated in field trials of transgenic crops – a challenging task to successfully complete in the U.K.! http://www.plants.leeds.ac.uk/groups_atk.html 1. Fuller, V.L., Lilley, C.J. and Urwin P.E. (2008) Nematode Resistance. New Phytologist 179:1-18. 2. Fuller, V.L., Lilley, C.J., Atkinson, H.J. & Urwin, P.E. (2007) Gene expression in mature feeding sites of Meloidogyne incognita. Molecular Plant Pathology 8:595-609. 3. Liu B., Hibbard J.K., Urwin, P.E. and Atkinson H.J. (2005) The production of synthetic chemodisruptive peptides in planta disrupts the establishment of cyst nematodes. Plant Biotechnology Journal 3: 487-496.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event.