Plant nematology is currently undergoing a revolution with the availability of the first genome sequences as well as comprehensive expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries from a range of nematode species. Several strategies are being used to exploit this wealth of information. Comparative genomics is being used to explore the acquisition of novel genes associated with parasitic lifestyles. Functional analyses of nematode genes are moving toward larger scale studies including global transcriptome profiling. RNA interference (RNAi) has been shown to reduce expression of a range of plant parasitic nematode genes and is a powerful tool for functional analysis of nematode genes. RNAi-mediated suppression of genes essential for nematode development, survival, or parasitism is revealing new targets for nematode control. Plant nematology in the genomics era is now facing the challenge to develop RNAi screens adequate for high-throughput functional analyses.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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