Welcome to the COST Action 872 website.

COST 872 has now finished. This site contains information about activities that were funded through this COST Action.

For information on meetings and workshops funded though COST872 use the "Past Meetings" link. Abstract books and programme booklets from these meetings are accessible through the "Publications and Reports" page.

Some information about COST 872:

The main objective of COST 872 is to develop a coordinated approach to exploitation of genomics information that is appearing for plant parasitic nematodes and host crops.

Plant parasitic nematodes cause damage to crops grown in the EU and throughout the world. The costs of this damage have been calculated to be worth in excess of 70 billion US dollars each year. The most economically important plant parasitic nematodes are the sedentary endoparasites, in particular the root-knot (Meloidogyne spp.) and the cyst forming nematodes (including Heterodera and Globodera spp). After hatching from eggs in soil, the nematodes migrate through plant tissues, secreting a cocktail of enzymes that degrade the plant cell wall to facilitate their progress. The nematodes then induce the formation of specialised feeding structures in the host tissue by altering the development of the root cells surrounding them. In a resistant plant, the nematode or developing feeding site is detected by the plant and defence responses are invoked.

Understanding the molecular bases of these susceptible and resistant responses is a major goal for researchers so that novel strategies for management of nematodes can be developed.

Genome sequences have been available for selected model plant and animal species for some years. In recent years costs of sequencing have come down and genome sequences and/or comprehensive databases of expressed sequence tags are becoming available for plant parasitic nematodes and crops. Techniques for functional analysis of individual genes (e.g RNAi) and at the level of the entire transcriptome (e.g microarrays) are available (or will become available) for crop-nematode pathosystems. The availability of this data and these novel techniques offer an opportunity for rapid scientific advances to be made and for a step change in the way that control of nematodes is approached.

This Action will co-ordinate research in this area ensuring that genomic information and new techniques are exploited in an efficient manner.