Biotech Updates

Soybean Varieties Resistant to the Root-Knot Nematode

March 28, 2008

Purdue University researchers have identified soybean varieties resistant to the root-knot nematode, parasites of the genus Meloidogyne responsible for approximately six percent of global crop loss. The varieties will grow well in Midwestern American states like Indiana, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois where the presence of the parasite has recently been confirmed. In the United States alone, the nematode is responsible for a loss of more than 93,000 tons of soybeans annually. The researchers are now trying to identify nematode-resistant cover crop varieties. Cover crops are being used during winter to prevent soil erosion but can also provide habitat for the parasite. Another concern is that soybean, watermelon and maize - crops that are being cultivated in rotation in midwestern states, are all susceptible to root-knot nematodes.