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

Crop InputsCreate a ‘No-Mite Zone’ Around Your Fields
July 13, 2017
Explosive. That’s one way to describe the speed at which mite infestations in crops can develop under the right conditions. Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesAMVAC Closes Deal for Three Product Line Acquisitions from Adama
June 6, 2017
AMVAC Chemical Corp. announced the closing of its acquisition of three new products to its portfolio – abamectin insecticide, chlorothalonil Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Registration
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
Trending Articles
Stewardship‘Gonna Fly Now’ with Environmental Respect
July 20, 2017
One of the most memorable moments in movie history occurred in the Academy Award-winning 1976 film “Rocky.” Haven gotten his Read More
StewardshipEnvironmental Respect 2017 Kicks Off Enjoying an American Pastime
July 18, 2017
Following months of planning and scheduling, the 2017 Environmental Respect Awards (ERA) celebration kicked off in fine fashion as more Read More
Soybean Closeup
Crop InputsMissouri Lifts Dicamba Ban, Issues Stricter Application Parameters
July 14, 2017
The Missouri Department of Agriculture has lifted its barely week-old ban on new dicamba technologies, which have been at the Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto Responds to Arkansas, Missouri Dicamba Bans
July 10, 2017
Monsanto, provider of the dicamba-tolerant Roundup Ready Xtend crop system for soybeans and cotton, issued the following statement on Friday, Read More
Retail FacilitiesPCS-Hammond Meets Fertilizer Storage Needs with New Dome Facility
July 8, 2017
The new barrel dome facility at the PCS-Hammond Regional Distribution Center in Hammond, IN, can hold more than 100,000 tons Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Latest News
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: Dicamba Update and InfoAg Preview
July 21, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss reports from the field and comments from Monsanto about dicamba drift this season, Read More
Stewardship‘Gonna Fly Now’ with Environmental Respect
July 20, 2017
One of the most memorable moments in movie history occurred in the Academy Award-winning 1976 film “Rocky.” Haven gotten his Read More
StewardshipEnvironmental Respect: Grand Grounds, Posters Parade
July 19, 2017
To celebrate their accomplishments in the area of environmental stewardship, award recipients at the 2017 Environmental Respect week spent much Read More
StewardshipHarden’s Message to ERA Winners: Do Tell Your Good Stor…
July 19, 2017
As the daughter of a peanut farmer, Krysta Harden, Chief Sustainability Officer for DuPont Crop Protection, understands the importance the Read More
StewardshipFarming Smarter Hinges on 4R Best Management Practices
July 18, 2017
Preserving water quality while feeding another 2 billion people by 2050 is the challenge facing North America’s farmers and its Read More
StewardshipEnvironmental Respect 2017 Kicks Off Enjoying an Americ…
July 18, 2017
Following months of planning and scheduling, the 2017 Environmental Respect Awards (ERA) celebration kicked off in fine fashion as more Read More
Soybean Field Sunset
OpinionPicking Partners in the Crop Protection Market
July 17, 2017
Agriculture is a market awash in highs, lows, and everything in between. This is certainly true in the world of Read More
TMX-2050-In-Cab-Display-Launch-Run-Screen
EquipmentGPS Auto Steer: Innovating in a Mature Market
July 17, 2017
In the world of Big IRON, GPS auto steer has closely mirrored the evolutionary path of consumer GPS Navigation systems Read More
MFA-Centralia-MO
Eric SfiligojThe Resilience of Ag Retailers
July 17, 2017
After covering the ag retail market for 17 years, I think one of the most impressive character traits I’ve seen Read More
SERA-meeting
Stewardship4R Event Explores How to Minimize Phosphorus Losses
July 17, 2017
This year the Southern Extension and Research Activity (SERA) – 17; will be meeting in Oregon, OH, from August 14-17. Read More
Students Soybean Field
StewardshipCCA 4R Study Guide Available
July 17, 2017
In June the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) released the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) 4R Nutrient Management Specialist (4R NMS) Read More
Soil soybean closeup
FertilizerThe 4Rs and Potassium
July 17, 2017
Are we meeting crop K needs? Using the 4R nutrient stewardship approach of selecting the right source at the right Read More
Soil Young Corn
StewardshipTop 10 Themes from the 2017 4R Nutrient Stewardship Sum…
July 17, 2017
Preserving water quality while feeding another 2 billion people by 2050 is the challenge facing North America’s farmers and its Read More
Soybean Field Sunset
Crop InputsWhich is Better for Soybeans: Fall or Spring Applicatio…
July 17, 2017
There have been many questions about fall versus spring applications of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to soybeans, writes Dr. T. Read More
corn-potassium-deficiency-University-of-Minnesota-Extension
Crop InputsRecognizing Potassium Deficiency Symptoms in Crops
July 17, 2017
Some crops exhibit characteristic deficiency symptoms when adequate amounts of K are not available for growth and development, according to Read More
ManagementComplexity in Agriculture: The Rise (and Fall?) of Mons…
July 17, 2017
Sometimes it seems as if the ag world is changing so fast that we can barely keep up with it Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: Illegal, Improper Use at Root of Drift Proble…
July 14, 2017
Monsanto isn’t backing down from the position that its tool — the Roundup Ready Xtend dicamba-tolerant system for soybeans and Read More
Soybean Closeup
Crop InputsMissouri Lifts Dicamba Ban, Issues Stricter Application…
July 14, 2017
The Missouri Department of Agriculture has lifted its barely week-old ban on new dicamba technologies, which have been at the Read More