Genetic study of root-knot nematode Meloidogyne shows findings to fight its damage in coffee

  • CATIE participated in research on the genome of the nematode Meloidogyne; a new precedent for developing strategies against the damage caused by this species in coffee plantations.

October 1, 2021. Despite the negative impact of galls of nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne in coffee growing areas of Central and South America, it is a pest little studied through the use of molecular markers, an aspect that has motivated the interest initial and subject of the research “Sequencing of the genome of the coffee root-knot nematode Meloidogyne exigua”, which involves a molecular study to know the diversity of this species.

The extensive damage caused by 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, this study establishes therefore an important precedent for future research. on phylogenomics in Meloidogyne species.

The research was carried out by experts from the University of Montpellier; Paul Sabatier University; University of Rennes; the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRAE) and CATIE (Center for Tropical Agronomic Research and Higher Education), which provided samples of coffee roots collected at Hacienda Aquiares, Turrialba, and the collaboration of William Solano, researcher in Coffee Plant Genetic Resources and Agroforestry and Cocoa Genetic Improvement Unit, in the preparation and revision of the final article.

Analysis of the genome of this nematode revealed the variety of the structure of its genetic sequence, which could be linked to the different modes of reproduction and to the origin of the species. By obtaining all of this molecular information, important discoveries were made to promote comparative genomics in the research and understanding of the evolutionary history of the nematode; thus, develop new strategies to fight against 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 has developed the rootstock variety Nemaya which is tolerant to nematodes. Now, this research, using molecular tools, can make it possible to advance more rapidly in the processes of genetic improvement against this pest, ”said Solano.

For more information, here you can read the scientific research article.

More information:

Guillaume Solano
Plant genetic resources researcher
Agroforestry and Genetic Improvement of Coffee and Cocoa Unit
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Written by:

Dannia Gamboa Solís
Communication assistant
Information and Communication Technologies
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