Engineering Natural and Synthetic Resistance for Nematode Management

  • Thierry C. Vrain
Keywords: cystatins, enzyme inhibitors, giant cells, hypersensitivity, lectins, natural resistance genes, nematodes, nematode genes, nematode-induced promoters, plant defense, plant genes, syncitia, synthetic resistance, toxins, transformation, transgenic plants


Bioengineering strategies are being developed that will provide specific and durable resistance against plant-parasitic nematodes in crops. The strategies come under three categories: (i) transfer of natural resistance genes from plants that have them to plants that do not, to mobilize the defense mechanisms in susceptible crops; (ii) interference with the biochemical signals that nematodes exchange with plants during parasitic interactions, especially those resulting in the formation of specialized feeding sites for the sedentary endoparasites--many nematode genes and many plant genes are potential targets for manipulation; and (iii) expression in plant cells of proteins toxic to nematodes.