A novel way to solve pine wilt disease
Pine wilt disease is caused by specific nematodes--Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. These kinds of nematodes appear in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Pine trees in many places are in this hazard. According to statistics, B. xylophilus in Taiwan caused more than 5,000 hectares of pine forests to die, and lost over 20 million USD, causing huge losses and harming our forests severely. They are harmful to many tree species and spread quickly. Many countries have been affected by B. xylophilus, but no effective method has been found to prevent pine wilt diseases so far.
We aim to generate a kind of pine tree that can synthesize siRNA that encodes important gene information to B.xylophilus, such as targeting related to reproduction and pathogenicity. As soon as the nematodes uptake plant cells, siRNA generate by pine trees will destroy genes that significantly influent the survival of nematodes.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a kind of bacterium that can infect plant cells and transfer a particular sequence of their DNA to the plant cells by infection. By transferring the particular gene fragment into a plant cell, plant cells get the ability to generate siRNA, which is our weapon to degrade genes of nematodes. As long as the nematodes uptake plant cells, siRNA travels into the intestine system then diffuses into the body. Eventually, RNAi plays their role, depress the reproduction and pathogenicity of B.xylophilus.
Why is the pine wilt disease so important
5,000 hectares of forest
20 million $ economic losses
Harmful to most soecies of pinus
No efficient solution
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