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Novel molecular diagnostic frame work for plant parasitic nematode pest of plant biosecurity concern-better and faster than classical taxonomy?

Tan, M.N.H., Vanstone, V.A. and Jones, M.G.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5002-0227 (2010) Novel molecular diagnostic frame work for plant parasitic nematode pest of plant biosecurity concern-better and faster than classical taxonomy? In: Plant Health & Protection Research Symposium, 29 October, Perth, Western Australia.


Phyto-nematodes are one of the four most important agricultural pests worldwide. The annual losses in agricultural production from nematode infection is about USD$120 billion. Although phyto-nematodes cannot move more than a metre per year, human activities have lead to the dispersal of these major pests around the world, and the transportation of infected plant materials from one continent to another can put Australian agriculture at risk. "Plant Biosecurity" requires cutting edge molecular techniques to identify biosecurity pathogens. The aim of this project is to develop new protocols for early detection of exotic phyto-nematodes: this will benefit Australia and help safeguard its borders. A requirement is to reduce the time taken for nematode identification so that pest incursions can be detected and controlled early. Most nematode identification has been done by classical taxonomy. However, this requires trained taxonomists familiar with nematode morphology, and identification is time consuming for an unknown nematode. More recent molecular techniques of nematode diagnostics have shown promising results for nematode identification. Molecular diagnostics has proved to be reliable and rapid compared to classical approaches. In this project, work is being undertaken to compare DNA-based, protein-based and novel methods of nematode identification. So far, DNA and protein diagnostic methods have been developed for a range of root lesion and cyst nematodes. Characteristic sequences of ITS regions have been generated and phylogenetic relations of these nematodes studied. Similarly protein biomarkers have been established that can be used-both to identify species and genera of these nematodes. Although plant nematodes can only move short distances on their own, they have been transported around the world effectively by human activities. The outcome of this project will help reduce entry of exotic nematodes into Australia, and so help reduce potential crop tosses.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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