Dr Seloame Tatu Nyaku

Dr Seloame Tatu Nyaku (University of Ghana)

Research title: Comparative transcriptome analysis of susceptible and resistant tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genotypes from Ghana to root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita)

Research project: In plants, vast array of genes work coordinately to defend themselves from invading pathogens. In an incompatible interaction involving resistant cultivars, a hypersensitive response (HR) is accompanied by rapid reprogramming of cells and physiological changes which generates ion fluxes, oxidative burst, and reactive oxygen species. Salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) regulate basal and resistance (R) gene-mediated defense responses. Salicylic acid (SA)-dependent signaling is important for resistance against biotrophic pathogens. However, there is limited information on the signal transduction pathway and defense strategies in rootknot nematode and locally cultivated tomato interactions. In order to develop alternatives to environmentally damaging chemicals, the molecular mechanisms underlying the plant defense responses against the root-knot nematode needs to be elucidated. This research aims to understand root-knot nematode interactions in the context of expressed genes and signaling pathways, leading to compatibility or incompatibility, and comparative defense responses among locally cultivated tomato species in Ghana. The specific objectives are:

1. Characterize the response mechanisms of locally cultivated tomato species to the root-knot nematode.
2. Analyze site-specific rhizogenic gene expression of various tomato species against root-knot nematode infection during both compatible and incompatible reactions.

Collaborator: Dr Uta Paszkowski, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Publications: See Seloame's publications