October 1, 2021. In spite of the negative impact of the nematode galls of the genus Meloidogyne in the coffee growing areas of Central and South America, it has been a pest that has been little studied through the use of molecular markers, an aspect that motivated the initial interest and purpose of the research "Sequencing of the genome of the coffee galls nematode Meloidogyne exigua", which focuses on a molecular study to know the diversity of this species.
Significant damage caused by the nematodes has resulted in losses of up to 45% in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and between 15-20 C% of central America in its coffee production, so this study sets an important precedent for future research on phylogenomics in Meloidogyne species.
The research was carried out by experts from the University of Montpellier; Université Paul Sabatier; University of Rennes; the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRAE) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), which provided samples of coffee roots collected at Hacienda Aquiares, Turrialba, and the collaboration of William Solano, researcher in Plant Genetic Resources of the Coffee and Cocoa Agroforestry and Genetic Improvement Unit, in the preparation and review of the final article.
The analysis of the genome of this nematode revealed the variety in the structure of its genetic sequence, which could be related to the different reproductive modes and origin of species. By obtaining all of this molecular information, important findings were obtained to promote comparative genomics in the research and understanding of the evolutionary history of the nematode; thus, developing new strategies to combat its damage in coffee plantations.
"As we learn more about the characteristics of pests such as nematodes, in this case Meloidogyne exigua, we will be able to design more and better strategies for their management and control. In the past, CATIE developed the Nemaya rootstock variety that is tolerant to nematodes. Now, this research, making use of molecular tools, can help to advance more quickly in the processes of genetic improvement against this pest," said Solano.
For more information, here you can read the scientific article of the research.
Researcher in Plant Genetic Resources
Coffee and Cocoa Agro-forestry and Genetic Improvement Unit
Dannia Gamboa Solís
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