Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Institute of Environmentally Friendly Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: [Email]
Multi-drug resistance in nematodes is a serious problem as lately several resistant phenotypes have emerged following the intermittent usage of synthetic nematicides. Contemporary research continues to focus on developing and/or repurposing small molecule inhibitors that are eco-friendly. Here, we describe the repurposing of the indole derivative, 5-iodoindole, as a nematicide for the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita. 5-Iodoindole effectively killed juveniles and freshly hatched juveniles by inducing multiple vacuole formation. Notably, at higher dosage (50 μg/mL), 5-iodoindole induced rapid juvenile death within 6 h. Microscopic analysis confirmed that the rapid death was due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Computational docking attributed this ROS production to the antagonistic effect of 5-iodoindole on glutathione S-transferase (GST), which is known to play a critical role in the suppression of ROS in nematode models. Furthermore, 5-iodoindole also effectively reduced the gall formations and eggs masses of M. incognita on Solanum lycopersicum roots in pot experiments, and importantly it did not harm the physiological properties of the plant. Overall, the study provides valuable insights on the use of 5-iodoindole as an alternate measure to control root-knot nematodes. Overall, our findings suggest the efficacy of 5-iodoindole should be studied under field conditions.