Parasite proteinases have important functions in host-parasite interactions. Consequently, they have been investigated as targets for the control of both plant and animal parasites. Plant parasitic nematodes cause estimated annual losses to world agriculture of US$100 billion and, currently, their control often relies on highly toxic nematicides, with associated environmental risks. The potential of disrupting digestive proteinases for plant parasitic nematode control, via expression of proteinase inhibitors in transgenic plants, is summarized here by Catherine Lilley, Pauline Devlin, Peter Urwin and Howard Atkinson. They then consider whether the approach of expressing antinematode proteins in plants can be adapted for control of certain animal parasitic nematodes.
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