Decreasing sensitivity offers nematode control
A new option for controlling plant parasitic nematodes has been discovered by researchers from the French national institute for agricultural research, the INRA. Studying the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, they found that down-regulating expression of a promoter gene involved in microtubule formation, MAP65-3, decreased the plant’s reaction to attack by root knot nematodes ( Meloidogyne incognita), and inhibited multiplication of the pest. Following initial invasion by M incognita, plants form galls, in which the nematodes feed and reproduce. Blocking expression of MAP65 inhibits gall formation and prevents pest multiplication. In other respects, plant growth is normal.