Kansas Uni offers new method for SCN control
The US Kansas State University (KSU) has been granted a US patent (No 7,803,984) for a method of controlling soybean cyst nematodes (SCN – Heterodera glycines) using RNA interference. The technology targets three essential SCN genes involved in sperm motility, egg development and RNA transcription. SCN feeding on soybeans transformed with double-stranded RNA sequences encoding the three genes (major sperm protein – MSP, chitin synthase and RNA polymerase II) cannot reproduce, halting the spread of infestation by the pest. Pathogen numbers were reduced by around 70% in the genetically modified soybeans compared to control plants, without any deleterious effects to non-target organisms or the environment, say the researchers.