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JST Press Release

August 04, 2015
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

A new assay to analyze behavior of nematodes using a gel-filled microchannel device
– Toward improving global crop productivity –

Various kinds of nematodes, including plant-parasitic nematodes and model organism C. elegans, commonly inhabit soil and/or sea worldwide. Analyzing environment-dependent behavior of the nematodes can contribute to obtain both scientific and industrial benefits, for example, improvement of crop productivity and development of new portable diagnostic systems.
Here, we established a new assay method by using a gel-filled microchannel device to analyze the behavior of the nematodes in simple, rapid and quantitative manner. The nematodes can move around the microchannel filled with condition-optimized agarose gel medium, thus we can trace the translocation and observe the behavior of the nematodes at high resolution.
Using this method, we clarified that high-/low-concentration gradient of potassium nitrate (KNO3) can function as a repellent and an attractant, respectively, toward Meloidogyne incognita, one of the most harmful plant-parasitic nematodes. From these achievements, we might be able to develop a new management method of the plant-parasitic nematodes by controlling chemical environments. Furthermore, this method might contribute to resolving global food and energy problems by improving crop productivity in the future.

Researcher Information

ERATO Higashiyama Live-Holonics Project

Journal Information

Hirotaka Hida, Hidetaka Nishiyama, Shinichiro Sawa, Tetsuya Higashiyama, and Hideyuki Arata. “Chemotaxis assay of plant-parasitic nematodes on a gel-filled microchannel device”. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Published online 1 August 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.snb.2015.07.081.


[About Research]
Hirotaka Hida, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kobe University

Tetsuya Higashiyama, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University

[About Program]
Takeshi Ohyama
Department of Research Project, JST
K’s Goban-cho 7, Goban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076 Japan
Tel: +81-3-3512-3528 Fax: +81-3-3222-2068


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