Taxonomía y evolución molecular de nematodos del nudo

De Mendoza CONICET

Taxonomy, evolution and resistance of root-knot nematodes


Parasitic nematodes infect thousands of plant species, but the most damaging are the root-knot nematodes and cyst nematodes. In Mendoza (Argentina), 7,000-9,000 hectares are destined to potato cultivars and the most problematic soil plague is the root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne spp. These nematodes attack the roots and tubers resulting in great loss of quality and production yield. The root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp. , causes great losses for potato breeders worldwide including Argentina, given that the cultivated potato is particularly susceptible to this nematode. Excessive amounts of fungicides must be applied with the consequent environmental concern and increasing costs.

The cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L. ssp. tuberosum) originated in the Andes in South America and has more than 200 wild relatives. Cultivated varieties show a wide range of agronomically relevant traits, but are susceptible to several pathogens. Wild germplasm represents a valuable source for novel resistance genes that could be exploited in breeding programs. However, resistance assays rely on an accurate identification of the infecting nematode. Taxonomic identification of root-knot nematode is complex and a multidimensional approach (morphometric, morphological, biochemical and molecular analyses) is require for a correct identification.

The project focuses on describing root-knot nematodes, which infect potato and tomato cultivars in Argentina and studying the evolutionary history of nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne in the context of global nematodes' evolution. In particular, we wish to develop tools for molecular taxonomy of these nematodes by analyzing the mitochondrial genomes of different species of the genus.


  • Evaluate wild potato species from Argentina for resistance to the nematode Meloidogyne arenaria.
  • Estimate the number of homologous genes to the gene Mi-1 from tomato in wild potato species.
  • Develop tools for molecular identification of root-knot nematodes.
  • Study the evolution of the mitochondrial genome within Nematoda and in particular, of Meloidogyne spp.

To Home Page: Grupo de Evolución Molecular de Plantas or Evolutionary Genomics Lab

Herramientas personales