Department of Crop Sciences
Nathan Schroeder
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Nathan Schroeder

Assistant Professor
N-531 Turner Hall
1102 S. Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-6128


PhD Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
BA Chemistry, Earlham College, 1998

Research Areas

We are interested in developmental and behavioral adaptations to stress in plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes. Specifically how do these animals survive and thrive in adverse and changing environments? The model organism and nematode C. elegans undergoes a developmental switch and enters into a stress-resistant dauer stage under adverse environmental conditions. We found that certain neurons in the head undergo extensive dendrite arboriztion during dauer formation. Following a return to favorable environments these neurons remodel again and return to a non-dauer morphology. We are exploring the function and mechanisms behind this and other adaptations during the dauer stage. Heterodera glycines, the soybean cyst nematode, is the most destructive pathogen of soybeans. It is capable of surviving for 9 years in the absence of a host plant. What adaptations allow such long-term survival and what are the mechanistic underpinnings? We are exploring the nervous system of this animal to uncover how they sense and adapt to adverse conditions. Our goal is to develop alternative control strategies for H. glycines and other economically important plant-parasitic nematodes.


Assistant Professor, Dept. of Crop Sciences University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2013-present
Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Genetics Rutgers University, 2008-2013

Journal Articles

Schroeder N.E. and K.M. Flatt. 2014. in vivo imaging of dauer-specific neuronal remodeling in C. elegans. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (in press)
Schroeder N.E, Androwski, R.J., Rashid, A., Lee, H., Lee, J., and M.M. Barr. 2013. Dauer-specific dendrite arborization in C. elegans is regulated by KPC-1/Furin. Current Biology. 23(16):1527-1535
Schroeder N.E. and A.E. MacGuidwin. 2010. Behavioral quiescence reduces penetration and toxicity of exogenous compounds in J2 Heterodera glycines. Nematology. 12(2):277-287
Schroeder N.E. and A.E.MacGuidwin. 2010. Mortality and behavior in J2 Heterodera glycines following exposure to isothiocyanate compounds. Journal of Nematology. 42(3):194-200
Schroeder N.E., Gerhardt D.J., Phibbs A., and A.E. MacGuidwin. 2008. First report of Cactodera milleri in Wisconsin. Plant Disease. 92(4):656
Schroeder N.E. and A.E. MacGuidwin. 2007. Incorporation of a fluorescent compound by Heterodera glycines. Journal of Nematology. 39(1):43-49