SBIR Phase II: Nematode Intestinal Proteins as Anthelmintic Targets
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
893 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63141
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis 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.
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