MU Postdoctoral Reseach
The focus of my research in the Mitchum Lab was the molecular basis of plant-nematode interactions with an emphasis on the interaction between the soybean cyst nematode (SCN; Heterodera glycines) and its host plant, soybean. Sedentary endoparasitic nematodes, such as SCN, are the most economically important group of plant-parasitic nematodes. Crop damages caused by SCN result to over $1 billion dollars in soybean yield loss annually in the United States alone. SCN damages the plant by attaching itself to the soybean root system, where it forms a complex feeding site (called a syncytium) and drains vital nutrients from the plant. SCN also has the ability to survive in the soil as a cyst for up to 30 years without the presence of a host, making SCN even more difficult to control. As of today there are no known effective means of controlling this pest in agricultural fields. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the pathogenicity and host resistance to cyst nematodes is critical for developing improved disease resistance strategies.
My research project was centered to two aspects:
Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) female on root