Soybean Pest Unmasked

Word of warning to one species of soybean cyst nematode: Be very afraid. Researchers are on to you now, and it’s only a matter of time.

One species of cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, feeds on soybean crops, resulting in up to $1 billion in crop loss in the U.S. each year. Recent research, funded by USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), is uncovering the mechanisms used by this nematode to weaken the plant’s defense system.

Recent work by scientists at the University of Missouri (UM) and Iowa State University (ISU) is featured on the cover of the March issue of the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. The results from their studies may lead to more effective management tools to combat the agricultural pest and protect this vital U.S. crop.

Nematodes have developed a highly evolved relationship with the host plant. During the juvenile stage, cyst nematodes penetrate the roots of the soybean plant and travel to the vascular tissue. Here the juvenile nematode stops to feed. During the feeding process, the nematode injects secretions that modify the root cells, creating specialized feeding cells, called syncytia, which provide nutrients to the nematode necessary for growth and development, as well as maintain the host-parasite relationship. In essence, the plant cell is reprogrammed by these secretions to support the feeding nematode rather than support and benefit the plant. Without a functioning syncytium, the nematode will die.

Lead scientist Melissa Mitchum and colleagues at UM and ISU examined the molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of the syncytia cells. The scientists examined 35,611 soybean genes and obtained the first comprehensive gene expression profile of the developing syncytium during very early stages of the plant-nematode interaction. Their work shows that within two days after syncytium formation over 1,765 soybean genes changed expression.

This team found that genes for proteins involved in plant cell wall formation are compromised by interplay between plant hormones, called phytohormones. In addition, a decrease in the production of jasmonic acid may suppress the plant defense response, which allows the nematode to survive and thrive.

The results from this study provide the most comprehensive picture of gene expression changes within developing syncytia to date. These findings may provide scientists the key to decipher which genes play essential roles in the induction, formation, and function of the syncytium for the survival and growth of cyst nematodes. Future work in this area may lead to new management techniques through the use of biotechnology to better control these important agricultural pests. Current nematode management strategies focus on reduction and control of pest population levels below the damage thresholds. Field eradication of this pest is rarely a feasible option. Crop rotation using non-host crops such as corn or planting nematode resistant soybean varieties are the most efficient management strategies to date. Chemicals, like nematicides, are available, but rarely have the necessary long-term effect on nematode populations and are not cost-effective for the grower.

Cyst nematode-induced damage is difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are nondescript and often contribute to other factors, such as compaction, nutrient deficiencies, drought stress, herbicide injury, or other plant diseases.

(Source: USDA)

Leave a Reply

Insecticides Stories

FungicidesFMC Launching New In-Furrow Combo Insecticide/Fungicide
November 9, 2015
FMC is launching Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide, the first of its kind, integrated in-furrow product for insect and disease control. Formulated Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesEPA Proposes To Revoke Food Residue Tolerances For Chlorpyrifos
November 3, 2015
EPA is proposing to revoke all food residue tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos. At this time, EPA said it is Read More
InsecticidesGRANDEVO Bioinsecticide Receives Completeness Determination From The Netherlands
September 15, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsU.S. Court Finds EPA Erred In Approving Dow Insecticide
September 11, 2015
Yahoo News and Reuters are reporting that a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday that federal EPA regulators erred in Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100United Cooperative Acquires Four ADM Wisconsin Facilities
November 12, 2015
United Cooperative, based out of Beaver Dam, WI, recently acquired four grain and agronomy locations from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Car Makes NASCAR Xfinity Series
October 29, 2015
BRANDT will join JR Motorsports with driver, Justin Allgaier, for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity (NXS) Series season. Allgaier will pilot Read More
CHS Building exterior
CropLife 100CHS Leaders Help Shape Succession Report
October 22, 2015
Succession planning was listed as a main concern of cooperative leaders at this summer’s 15 regional CHS owner town hall Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending Facility In Washington
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesBREAKING: EPA Pulls Registration On Dow’s Enlist …
November 25, 2015
EPA on Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans, Read More
FertilizerYara Tampa Ammonia Terminal Garners ResponsibleAg Honor…
November 25, 2015
Yara has received its first ResponsibleAg Certification for its Tampa, FL, Ammonia terminal location. This achievement demonstrates Yara’s commitment to Read More
ManagementReviewing The Top Ag Stories For 2015
November 24, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss the most noteworthy events from this past year in agriculture. Read More
EmployeesAgriculture Jobs May Be Plentiful, But New Grads Are Sc…
November 24, 2015
Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture each year for the next five years, but there's not enough grads to fill them. Read More
Radish cover crop
StewardshipCover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality
November 23, 2015
A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won Read More
Crop InputsThe Andersons’ Products Receive California Organi…
November 23, 2015
The Plant Nutrient Group of The Andersons, Inc. announced today that its Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG products are Read More
Eric SfiligojNew European Study Seems To Support Glyphosate Safety
November 23, 2015
Looking at any international news over the past few years, it might seem as if the European Union (EU) is Read More
Toggle Biostimulant corn roots
Crop InputsTwo New Biostimulants Added To United Suppliers’ …
November 20, 2015
Winfield US announces the launch of two new products in the United Suppliers portfolio for the 2016 crop season, Optify Read More
StewardshipNRDC Report: Cover Crops Contain Vast Benefits
November 19, 2015
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a Read More
Fall Harvest
Seed/BiotechArysta Launches New Seed Protectant
November 19, 2015
As spring wheat growers begin planning for a strong start to their season, Arysta LifeScience North America announces RANCONA V Read More
Crop InputsInocucor Receives U.S. Patent For Microbials
November 19, 2015
Inocucor Technologies Inc., the Montreal-based agriculture biotech company, was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Read More
ManagementSyngenta Rumors and ARA 2015 Preview
November 19, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj looks at the latest rumors involving Syngenta selling its crop protection business and talks about events Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
High Plains Aquifer
StewardshipStudy: High Plains Aquifer Overall Usage In Decline
November 18, 2015
A new Kansas State University study finds that the over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer’s groundwater beyond the aquifer’s recharge Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
FungicidesArysta Launches New Corn And Soybean Fungicide
November 17, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America has recently launched ZOLERA FX Fungicide. The highly systemic, powerful fungicide delivers broad-spectrum disease control with Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance: Microbials Targeted For 250-500 million…
November 17, 2015
Monsanto and Novozymes have announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Still Being Eyed For China Takeover
November 16, 2015
China National Chemical Corp. approached sovereign wealth funds including China Investment Corp. to help pay for a potential acquisition of Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojCooperative Consolidation Continues
November 16, 2015
As I put this enewsletter column together, we’ve just put the finishing touches on our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 report. Read More