Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 22, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Many plant-parasitic nematode juveniles share functional similarity to C. elegans dauers. It is likely that plant-parasitic nematodes use molecules similar to those defined by the C. elegans dauer pathway to regulate developmental arrest, lifespan, and chemosensation. Our long-range goal is to determine the molecular mechanisms controlling plant-parasitic nematode development in order to discover new targets for safe, specific, biologically based methods. The daf-21 gene from C. elegans encodes a molecular chaperone of the Hsp90 class. The precise function of daf-21 in the dauer pathway is unclear. However, Hsp90 chaperones are known to refold denatured or misfolded proteins, especially under conditions of stress. Under non-stress conditions, Hsp90 has been shown to guide the proper folding of specific target proteins, including nuclear hormone receptors and protein kinases. We have focused on the cloning and characterization of Hsp90 (daf-21) from several species of plant-parasitic nematodes of economic concern to agriculture. We have obtained full-length cDNA and partial genomic sequence from the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, and are in the process of examining expression of the gene and its protein product. We developed a method to isolate partial Hsp90 sequence from a wide range of agriculturally important nematodes, including cyst, root-knot, and lesion nematodes. Variation in intron number and position in this amplification segment has been detected and may comprise a useful diagnostic for several nematodes of agricultural concern. We are now expanding this study to include more taxa and hope to gain insight into the function of nematode Hsp90's by examining the sequences from a phylogenetic perspective.