Submitted to: Society of Nematology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The daf-21 gene is a component of a neurosensory biochemical pathway that controls the formation of arrested (dauer) larvae in Caenorhabditis elegans. Daf-21 encodes a protein in the heat shock (HSP90) protein family. Proteins of this class are expressed in response to stress, and some have been shown to act as molecular chaperones, protecting other proteins from unfolding. Mutations in HSP90 have been shown to unmask hidden genetic variation in fruit flies and may therefore play a critical role in regulating the evolutionary potential of an organism. We have developed a robust set of PCR primers and amplification conditions that allowed us to isolate genomic clones with significant homology to HSP90 from several plant-parasitic nematodes, including Heterodera glycines, Meloidogyne javanica, M. arenaria, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, and several of the Pratylenchinae. Sequence analysis has shown that these genes are highly conserved with other family members, with as much as 57% identity at the nucleotide level; however, the introns in some nematode genes differ from C. elegans in both number and location. Isolation of full-length genomic and cDNA clones are underway. We are also investigating the usefulness of this HSP90 gene as a new molecular phylogenetic character.