Dr. Zhang’s lab is interested in studying plant-nematode interactions with
the aim of developing new tools for nematode management in agriculture.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic soil-borne roundworms, they
infect and damage plant roots causing annual crop losses valued at $80-$118
billion worldwide. With most of front-line nematicides being banned due to
their extreme toxicity, it is urgent to develop new methods for nematode
control. We focus on two groups of plant-parasitic nematodes: 1) Soybean
cyst nematode (SCN), the most damaging pathogen of soybean in the US. We
study distributions and virulence types of SCN populations on soybean fields in
Indiana to provide information to growers for effective SCN management. We are
also interested in developing new bio-control agents for SCN management. 2)
Root-knot nematodes (RKN) cause serious problems in tomato and melon
production in Indiana. We focus on studying RKN-secreted effector proteins. These
effectors are secreted by nematodes to plant root cells. Our lab is interested
in studying how nematode effectors manipulate plant processes during
parasitism. We aim to develop crop resistance against RKNs by disrupting the
molecular plant-nematode interactions using technologies such as gene editing
and host-delivered RNAi.
### There are open positions of a postdoctoral researcher and
graduate students in Dr. Zhang’s lab. If you are interested, please contact Dr.
Zhang for more information.
Zhang, L. and
Gleason, C.A. (2020) Enhancing potato resistance against root-knot nematodes
using a plant elicitor peptide delivered by bacteria. Nature Plants
Zhang, L. and
Gleason, C.A. (2019) Loop-mediated isothermal amplification for the diagnostic
detection of Meloidogyne chitwoodi
and M. fallax. Plant Disease 103:1, 12-18.
N., Zhang, L. and Gleason, C.A.
(2018) The root-knot nematode effector MiPFN3 disrupts plant actin filaments
and promotes parasitism. PLOS
Pathogens 14(3): e1006947.
C.A., Polzin, F., Habash, S.S., Zhang, L.,
Utermark, J., Grundler, F.M. and Elashry, A. (2017) Identification of two Meloidogyne hapla genes and an
investigation of their roles in the plant-nematode interaction. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Davies, L.J. and Elling, A.A. (2015) A Meloidogyne
incognita effector is imported into the nucleus and exhibits
transcriptional activation activity in
planta. Molecular Plant Pathology
Davies, L.J., Zhang, L.
and Elling, A.A. (2015) The Arabidopsis
thaliana papain-like cysteine protease RD21 interacts with a root-knot
nematode effector protein. Nematology