Application of Mass Spectrometry as Rapid Detection Tool in Plant Nematology
Babalola, Olubukola Oluranti
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Plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) are serious pests causing important crop losses worldwide. Accurate identification of PPNs is essential to plant pathogen diagnostics and, thus, plant disease management. Classification of nematodes by mass spectrometry (MS) has a more than two-decade-long history, rich in many applications with variable commercial success. In the last few decades, research reports suggested that characterize proteins could be desorbed directly from PPNs using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), and the use of MS to investigate PPN, PPN proteins, and the PPN proteome has advanced rapidly. Proteomics is the systematic analysis of the proteins expressed by a cell or tissues of target microbes, and MALDI-TOF-MS is an essential analytical tool. Many plant nematologists are relying on MALDI-TOF-MS-based proteomic studies to identify PPNs and, thus, to contribute to the development of effective disease control strategies. This review focuses on MALDI-TOF-MS as an identification tool for PPNs, and this tool is out of reach of most people involved in agriculture. Therefore, the available scientific resources could showcase the importance of MALDI-TOF-MS as a universal tool for the identification of PPNs.