Following further behavioral and neurological research it will become possible to introduce into the soil sex pheromones for amphimictic species and species-specific pheromones for hermaphroditic species to confuse or prevent the mating of nematodes Riga, Alternatively, transgenic crop plants will be developed carrying genes that enable the slow release of narrowly-targeted, semiochemicals that confuse or repel the target nematode species or inhibit mate finding, development or reproduction.
This development in agriculture will likely parallel the development of a new era of social drug development among human populations based on the controlled use of enhanced, targeted erotic-perfume cosmetics. Microbivorous nematodes have a significant effect on plant nutrient cycling by regulating the component populations of the microflora in the soil Yeates et al. Future research can be expected to result in the number and activity of key soil nematode species being modulated, depending on the prevailing soil conditions, by the in-row planting of gas sensitive, transgenic plant engineered control systems.
By integrating the advances Benjamins and Scheres, in functional genomics with transgenic plant technology and intelligent control systems it will become possible to optimize the balance of different microbivorous nematode populations so as to increase crop yield through managed optimized nitrate, ammonia and carbon dioxide cycles. Moreover, this could be adjusted for different climates, soils and synthetic substrates according to crop scheduling in successive growing seasons. The use of entomopathogenic nematodes EPNs in the biological control of insect pests will expand its target range of insect pest species as genetic selection to improve nematode search behavior are developed Kaya and Koppenhoffer, A much expanded EPN research endeavor Ehlers and Shapiro-Ilan, will lead to enhanced nematode host-finding abilities, increased shelf-life and an ability to optimize the conditions for nematode-bacteria mass culture.
Innovative production and application technology will result in EPNs becoming the preferred biocontrol agent against a wide range of insect pests in different climatic zones. As it is already possible to mass culture many tons of EPNs for use in biological control, it should soon be possible, given improved methodologies, to produce even larger quantities of nematodes of differing species and flavors for processing into high value, proteinaceous food supplements or gourmet fast-foods Webster, a. Perhaps it will not be long before we can purchase a bowl of NemaTofu for a tasty lunch, and then wash it down with a glass of ice-cold NemaCola!
One of the greatest challenges that both nematodes and humans are already facing, and will do so increasingly over the next 50 years, is the availability of adequate water. Greater efficiency in water usage in agriculture will become mandatory in many parts of the world and this will require the integration of different nematode management programs.
Many nematode species have ways of modifying their metabolism to accommodate the problem of dry or environmentally unsatisfactory conditions Wharton ; Wharton and Alders, Can we benefit from a better understanding of this phenomenon and so utilize some of these nematode attributes?
A long-term, decreased metabolic activity, if applicable to humans, could have value in managing life during drought conditions or for the development of low temperature medical procedures, in facilitating more restful, long-distance space travel and in helping to survive the aftermath of cataclysmic meteor strikes of the Earth. Nematodes can feed and reproduce at zero gravity in outer space Johnsen and Baillie, , and one can but speculate as to whether further research and development of this phenomenon could benefit mankind during the course of the next 50 years.
There may well be opportunities here for the medical enhancement of fertility and for specific, high-sensitive brain surgery or, once protection from space radiation can be assured, for vacationing in space moonshine to enjoy the delights of deep, muscle-relaxing massage spas. Remarkably, C. There is so much to do in nematology, and so much that can now be achieved, with a focus on excellence and commitment. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Nematol v.
J Nematol. John M. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. The author gratefully acknowledges discussions with and suggestions from colleagues and students and appreciates the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Based on an invited paper presented at the Golden Anniversary Meeting of the Society of Nematologists. Received Oct 1.
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Abstract Nathan Cobb, as the father figure of the Society of Nematologists, set an example to later generations of nematologists in his studies of nematode biology. Keywords: behavior, biocontrol, chemosensory, ecology, entomopathogenic nematodes, genomics, marine nematology, molecular technology, nematicides, non-tariff barriers, plant resistance, taxonomy, transgenic plants.
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Related An Anecdotal History of Nematology
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