SBIR Phase II: Nematode Intestinal Proteins as Anthelmintic Targets

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0349756
Agency Tracking Number: 0215151
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Divergence, LLC
893 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63141
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michelle Hresko
 (314) 812-8024
Business Contact
 Michelle Hresko
Phone: (314) 812-8024
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to develop transgenic roots that are resistant to nematode infection, through expression of small proteins, protein domains or peptides which when ingested by the nematode interfere with the function of essential proteins of the nematode intestine. The longer term goal of the project is to develop transgenic crops (soybeans, corn and cotton), that are resistant to parasitic nematodes. In Phase I research, essential proteins exposed in the nematode intestinal lumen were identified as outstanding targets for anti-nematode agents produced by plants. These proteins are accessible to the environment since the lumenal membrane of the intestine is the surface through which nutrients are absorbed by the nematode. This Phase II project is expected to show that transgenic expression of nematode intestine-toxic peptides at the site of infection would create inhospital host plants for plant parasitic nematodes and would result in resistant crops which do not require application of toxic chemicals for nematode control. The commercial impact of this project will be on nematode control in major crops. Plant parasitic nematodes are reported to cause $80 billion in crop yield damage annually. The current chemical solutions are limited, environmentally damaging, and toxic to the applicators. Transgenic resistance to nematodes will provide an economically competitive and environmentally safe alternative.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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