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The Parasitome of the Phytonematode Heterodera glycines

August 2003 , Volume 16 , Number  8
Pages  720 - 726

Bingli Gao , 1 R. Allen , 1 Tom Maier , 2 Eric L. Davis , 3 Thomas J. Baum , 2 and Richard S. Hussey 1

1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-7274, U.S.A.; 2Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, 351 Bessey Hall, Ames 50011, U.S.A.; 3Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Box 7616, Raleigh 27695-7616, U.S.A.


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Accepted 14 April 2003.

Parasitism genes expressed in the esophageal gland cells of phytonematodes encode secretions that control the complex process of plant parasitism. In the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, the parasitome, i.e., the secreted products of parasitism genes, facilitate nematode migration in soybean roots and mediate the modification of root cells into elaborate feeding cells required to support the growth and development of the nematode. With very few exceptions, the identities of these secretions are unknown, and the mechanisms of cyst nematode parasitism, therefore, remain obscure. The most direct and efficient approach for cloning parasitism genes and rapidly advancing our understanding of the molecular interactions during nematode parasitism of plants is to create gland cell-specific cDNA libraries using cytoplasm microaspirated from the esophageal gland cells of various parasitic stages. By combining expressed sequence tag analysis of a gland cell cDNA library with high throughput in situ expression localization of clones encoding secretory proteins, we obtained the first comprehensive parasitome profile for a parasitic nematode. We identified 51 new H. glycines gland-expressed candidate parasitism genes, of which 38 genes constitute completely novel sequences. Individual parasitome members showed distinct gland cell expression patterns throughout the parasitic cycle. The parasitome complexity discovered paints a more elaborate picture of host cellular events under specific control by the nematode parasite than previously hypothesized.


Additional keywords: microaspiration, plant-parasitic nematode.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society