From: "ARS News Service" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ARS News List" <email@example.com>
Subject: Nematodes Online
Date: Mon, Aug 30, 1999, 4:31 AM
Online Information to Help Identify and Track $100 Billion Worm Pests
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Hank Becker, (301) 504-1624, firstname.lastname@example.org
August 30, 1999
An online database of microscopic worms that cause $100 billion in damage
worldwide is now available on the World Wide Web.
The USDA Nematode Collection, one of the world's largest and most valuable
archives of these microscopic worms, contains information on thousands of
species of nematodes that infect nearly every agronomic and horticultural
plant important to agriculture. In the United States alone, plant parasitic
nematodes cause annual economic losses estimated at nearly $10 billion from
decreased food, fiber and ornamental production.
Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service say their new searchable
database will make it easier for scientists anywhere to identify and track
these destructive pests. The search page can be found at:
The web site makes the USDA Nematode Collection more accessible to U.S. and
foreign scientists and others ranging from quarantine officials to students
doing science projects. Established by retired ARS nematologist A. Morgan
Golden in 1960, the collection is a valuable asset for furthering scientific
knowledge of the tiny worms. It is maintained at the ARS Nematology
Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. The collection holds more than 34,000
permanent slides and vials and 19,500 species entries. Samples were gathered
from 180 countries by some 3,000 collectors.
The records in the database represent 555 nematode genera and 1,670 species
on 800 plant hosts. In addition, 180 insect hosts are represented by
specimens in the collection.
Most nematodes feed on bacteria, fungi and other soil organisms. Others are
parasitic, obtaining their food from animals (like the dog heartworm),
humans (like the pinworm) or plants. The plant parasites cause yield losses
by feeding or by transmitting disease-causing viruses, fungi and bacteria.
The website offers other resources including hot links to nematology
societies and university collection sites. ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific agency.
Scientific contacts: Zafar A. Handoo and Donna Ellington, ARS Nematology
Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-5660, fax (301) 504-6666,
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
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* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504-1617, fax 504- 1648.
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