Annie Christine Boucher
Master's student in Biology
Université de Sherbrooke
Award-winning publication: Genetic diversity of the golden potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis and determination of the origin of populations in Quebec, Canada
Published in: Molecular Phylogenerics and Evolution, 69, 75-82, 2013
"Originating in South America and introduced on all continents, the golden nematode (Globodera rostochiensis), a parasite that infests potatoes, was recently discovered in Québec. As part of our study, we developed 12 new microsatellite markers to determine the genotype of 15 populations around the world and were then able to refute the hypothesis on the origin of the population in Québec. These microsatellite markers will also support further research on the pest and other species that are genetically close."
Annie Christine Boucher's work aims to elucidate the behaviour of the golden nematode in order to develop more effective strategies to decrease the parasite's population, since little is known on the pest's dynamic (e.g. its virulence and multiplication rate and the influence of each potato variety on its development). A breakthrough like the one made by Annie-Christine Boucher enhances the means to combat the golden nematode, and identifying the genetic links between the populations in eastern Canada and Europe could lead to results applicable to agricultural practices in the short and medium terms. For example, the use of crop rotation schemes, which has proven effective in Europe, could be further promoted here.