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Full and durable crop resistance in rice and potato plants to nematodes

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 01-01-1999
 30-12-2001
 R7294
 Plant Sciences Research
 Central Research Department (now Research and Evidence Division)


  Africa, South America, Western Africa, Americas, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean
  Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria


Plant genes conferring resistance to nematodes used adaptively to achieve full and durable resistance with expression limited to root systems.

Nematode losses in upland rice. Meloidogyne and Pratylenchus cause very substantial losses to rice, with up to 70% to individual growers. Growers of upland rice in West Africa and Asia belong to subsistence communities. Intensifying rice production, which is a preferred food, is not possible without adequate nematode control. These growers lack adequate methods of control. Prolonged fallow to control Meloidogyne is necessarily associated with unproductive agricultural systems. Slash and burn shifting agriculture is environmentally harmful, but necessary to overcome Meloidogyne. Fertilisers are beyond the financial resources of many subsistence farmers, and they do not fully compensate for Meloidogyne- induced losses. Nematode losses in lowland rice. Meloidogyne graminicola damages irrigated rice widely in SE Asia and several crops grown in rotation with it. The losses are intensifying as water conservation measures enforce intermittent rather than continuous flooding of the crop, so providing an environment that favours the nematode. Hirschmanniella is clearly a substantial pest of intensive, irrigated rice. Its status will increase because increased outputs for this most productive of rice ecosystems is a major objective for food security in the coming decades. Nematode losses on potato in Bolivia. Bolivia has the lowest GNP in South America and is the core geographical focus country for DFID in continental S.America (NR research strategy, 1995-2005). IFAD of UN estimates 97% of the Bolivian rural population lives in extreme poverty, a proportion that compares unfavourably with even the poorest African States. The highland regions of Alto Plano (high plain) and the valles (hillsides) are populated with small holding growers with freeholds created by land tenure reform in 1952. Potato is the principal staple food for Bolivians. It provides 25% of agricultural consumption by Bolivian households, and provides 40-50% of total calories consumed by rural, highland households. Its planted area is about 11% of the total agricultural acreage, involving over 400,000 small-farm families. The two principal growing areas are the Departments of La Paz and Cochabamba in the Alto plano and valles regions respectively. They each have c25% of the national acreage. The subsistence growers in these areas have mean, annual potato acreages of 0.23 and 0.41 ha/family respectively. Potato is a highly traditional crop with strong consumer preferences for native cultivars, based on factors such as texture, flavour, storage abilities and tuber size that differ from requirements in EU and USA. Therefore, development of the potato crop in Bolivia is not easily amenable to introduction of improved cultivars from other countries. Such cultivars currently represent only 5% of the Bolivian market. The benefits of improved nematode control of native cultivars will be to reduce current potato acreages, and free land for other crops (eg legumes). The use of virgin land from threatened primary forests will also be reduced.

Development of nematode resistant rice and potato plants using additive approaches and root-specific promoters in containment trials in UK and at sites of overseas collaborators.

Demonstration of a reduction in nematode multiplication in field trials, conducted by collaborators.

A minimum of 3 rice and potato cultivars with the new additive, durable resistance.

Effective and durable resistance irrespective of the nematode population density or species mix that challenge rice or potato plants.

Development of nematode-resistant rice and potato plants using additive approaches and root-specific promoters in containment trials in UK and at sites of overseas collaborators. Male sterility for potato was achieved to prevent transgene escape via pollen. Additive resistance was demonstrated for potato in UK field and containment trials. Trails in Bolivia were prevented when a Bolivian moratorium on GM trials was imposed for the latter half of 2000 and 2001. Biosafety regulations were developed but not implemented in Cote d'Ivoire.

Demonstration of a reduction in nematode multiplication in field trials conducted by collaborators. Plants were available, but not transferred to partners for field evaluation.

A minimum of 3 rice and potato cultivars with the new additive, durable resistance.
Resistance to Meloidogyne incognita of >80% was achieved in rice with new constructs. Additive resistance was developed for potato using (a) two transgenes and (b) by stacking transgenic resistance with natural partial resistance, so achieving full control of potato cyst nematode. Efficacy was demonstrated against Meloidogyne and Nacobbus. Further transgenes for additive resistance were developed and are available for future work.

Effective and durable resistance irrespective of the nematode population density or species mix that challenge rice or potato plants.
Efficacy of the defence in potato was demonstrated against Globodera, Meloidogyne and Nacobbus.

The potential of transgenic nematode resistance potato and rice has been established for use within pest management schemes that will prevent yield losses.


£289,205
  690656005


Atkinson HJ (1999). Genetically modified crops and future food security in the developing world. In: Science and The Commonwealth, 1999.

Atkinson HJ (2000). Developing a paradigm for safe adoption of GM crops with a poverty focus: a specific example of nematode resistance for potato in Bolivia. Consultation of Environmental Protection Dept of DFID with research programme managers, project leaders and advisers on 19/12/2000 at 94 Victoria Street, London

Atkinson HJ, Green J (2000). The case in favour of transgenic, nematode resistant potatoes for Bolivia. In DFID PSP+CPP/CIP Conference: Biosafety of GM potato in the developing world, Manchester (June 2000)

Atkinson HJ, Green J, Cowgill S, Levesley L. (2001). The case for GM crops with a poverty focus. Trends in Biotechnology 19: 91-96

Atkinson HJ, Green J, Cowgill S, Urwin P, Franco J, Witcombe J. (2001). Developing a paradigm for safe adoption of GM crops with a poverty focus: a specific example of nematode resistance for potato in Bolivia. In: Conference proceedings ,Sustainable agriculture in the new millennium - the impact of biotechnology on developing countries,. Brussels, (28-31 May 2000), FOE, Europe. (in press)

Atkinson HJ. Molecular approaches to novel crop resistance against nematodes pp 569-598 in The Biology of Nematodes (edited Lee DL) Taylor and Francis, London. 635pp (USBN 0-415-2711-4)

Atkinson HJ and Green J (2000). The case in favour of transgenic, nematode resistant potatoes for Bolivia. In DFID PSP+CPP/CIP Conference: Biosafety of GM Potato in the Developing World, Manchester. June 2000. Published by CIP.

Atkinson HJ, Holz RA, Riga E, Main G, Oris R, and Franco J (2001). An algorithm for optimising rotational control of Globodera rostochiensis on potato crops in Bolivia. Journal of Nematology, 33: 121-125.

Green J, Vain P, Fearnehough M, Worland B. Snape J and Atkinson HJ (2002). Root specific expression analysis of the Arabidopsis thaliana tubulin-I promoter and the constitutive rice ubiquitin promoter in rice plants for nematode resistance. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. In press.

Urwin PE, Green J and Atkinson HJ (2000). Resistance to Globodera spp. in transgenic Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree that express proteinase inhibitors. Aspects of Applied Biology 59, 27-32 2000.

Urwin PE, Troth KM, Zubko EI and Atkinson HJ (2001) Effective transgenic resistance to Globodera pallida in potato field trials. Molecular Breeding, 8: 95 - 2001.

NRB 9800 677/792/003

R6453