Molecular mechanisms of parasitic nematode virulence
Plant parasitic nematodes represent a significant group of plant pathogens that threaten current and future food security. One type, the cyst nematode, targets the most important crop species (tomato, potato) causing up to 80 % losses. New European regulations prohibit the future use of many effective pesticides including nematicides. The EU-funded NEMABOX project aims to study the virulence of cyst nematodes to identify new targets for sustainable biotechnological control. To be virulent, cyst nematodes must inject effector proteins into the plant. The effectors are produced in the nematode’s dorsal or sub-ventral glands and a subset of dorsal gland effectors are unified by a six base-pair non-coding DNA motif, termed the 'DOG box'. The current study will address the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of effectors in the gland cells.
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