Research focus:

Nematodes cause substantial damage to a variety of crops worldwide. Both cyst and root-knot nematodes are sedentary endoparasites of plant roots. Cyst (Globodera and Heterodera spp) and root-knot (Meloidogyne spp) nematodes elaborately transform cells within the vascular cylinders of plant roots into feeding cells (syncytia and giant cells) that are required to sustain nematode growth and reproduction. Enzymes of plant origin have been implicated in the cell wall architectural modifications observed in nematode feeding cells.  Prior to my arrival, our lab has discovered that a family of plant cellulase (endoglucanase) genes is specifically upregulated in the feeding sites formed by both cyst and root-knot nematodes. This research has lead to the cloning of the first five endoglucanase genes isolated from tobacco.  My work will be to investigate the regulation and expression of plant endoglucanases in compatible plant-nematode interactions. Study of gene regulation in a host plant during this process can reveal much about the interaction between host and parasite.


We have been adapting the RNAi soaking (in vitro) method for H. glycines presented by Urwin et al. (MPMI, August 2002) to attempt to knockout esophageal gland secretion genes in H. glycines. For initial experiments and protocol optimization of the soaking method, we selected two genes of H. glycines as models for RNAi studies, the -1,4-endoglucanase (EGases) HG-eng-1, and a gland specific protein 4E-O2. In situ hybridization studies for HG-eng-1 and RT-PCR for both genes show that both are expressed in pre-parasitic stages of H. glycines, making them good candidates to demonstrate gland cell gene knockout by in vitro RNAi experiments. Eventually, we plan to use RNAi for functional analysis of other SCN parasitism genes, which are expressed in planta , by constructing transgenic plants that express dsRNAs that can be ingested by the nematodes from feeding sites.


Atkinson Lab
Davis Lab NCSU (Ours !!)
The Baum Lab
Hussey Lab
Laboratory of Nematology Wageningen University
USDA Nematology Lab Home Page


Nematode Net
Parasitic nematode Links
Nematode sites on the web



Molecular Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology on line
Molecular Biology Protocols
Protocol on ine

Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology Internet Guide

Copyright © 2003 S Sukno