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A Distinct Role of Pectate Lyases in the Formation of Feeding Structures Induced by Cyst and Root-Knot Nematodes

September 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  9
Pages  901 - 912

K. Wieczorek,1 A. Elashry,2 M. Quentin,3 F. M. W. Grundler,2 B. Favery,3 G. J. Seifert,4 and H. Bohlmann1

1Division of Plant Protection, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Konrad-Lorenz Straße 24, A-3430 Tulln, Austria; 2Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Department Molecular Phytomedicine, University Bonn, Karlrobert-Kreiten-Str. 13, D-53115 Bonn, Germany; 3Institut Sophia Agrobiotech UMR INRA 1355-CNRS 7254-Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, F-06903, Sophia Antipolis, France; 4Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, A-1190 Vienna

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Accepted 23 May 2014.

Pectin in the primary plant cell wall is thought to be responsible for its porosity, charge density, and microfibril spacing and is the main component of the middle lamella. Plant-parasitic nematodes secrete cell wall–degrading enzymes that macerate the plant tissue, facilitating the penetration and migration within the roots. In sedentary endoparasitic nematodes, these enzymes are released only during the migration of infective juveniles through the root. Later, nematodes manipulate the expression of host plant genes, including various cell wall enzymes, in order to induce specific feeding sites. In this study, we investigated expression of two Arabidopsis pectate lyase-like genes (PLL), PLL18 (At3g27400) and PLL19 (At4g24780), together with pectic epitopes with different degrees of methylesterification in both syncytia induced by the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii and giant cells induced by the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. We confirmed upregulation of PLL18 and PLL19 in both types of feeding sites with quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ RT-PCR. Furthermore, the functional analysis of mutants demonstrated the important role of both PLL genes in the development and maintenance of syncytia but not giant cells. Our results show that both enzymes play distinct roles in different infected root tissues as well as during parasitism of different nematodes.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society