soybean root with nematodes Credit: Xiaoli Guo, Division of Plant Sciences and Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri; College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.
A nematode (the oblong object on the left) activates the vascular stem cell pathway in the developing nematode feeding site (syncytium) on a plant root.

Researchers discover new link to fight threat to soybean production

University of Missouri scientists show that parasitic nematodes hijack vascular stem cell pathways to attack their hosts.

Cyst nematodes are invisible to the naked eye but are still a major threat to agriculture, causing billions of dollars in global crop losses every year. A group of plant scientists, led by University of Missouri researchers, recently found one of the mechanisms cyst nematodes use to invade and drain life-sustaining nutrients from soybean plants.

Understanding the molecular basis of interactions between plants and nematodes could lead to the development of new strategies to control the

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