Korasick Awarded USDA Postdoctoral Fellowship to Pursue Research on Soybean Cyst Nematode Infection Resistance

David Korasick (Tanner Lab) was recently awarded a United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) postdoctoral fellowship to pursue his research on the molecular basis of soybean cyst nematode infection resistance. Korasick’s work is supervised by Jack Tanner, professor of biochemistry, and Melissa Mitchum (University of Georgia), his mentor and co-mentor, respectively. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most detrimental and costly pathogen that affects soybean production in the U.S.; more than $1 billion is lost annually due to SCN infection. The project focuses on the soybean metabolic enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase 8 (SHMT8), and how changes in SHMT8 from an SCN resistant plant line confer pathogen resistance. Korasick combines protein biochemistry, protein biophysics and X-ray crystallography approaches to tackle this problem. Korasick stated, “Our goal is to gain the information through these studies necessary to engineer a new line of soybeans with durable resistance for use in agriculture.”