Submitted to: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 8, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Kovaleva, E. S., Masler, E. P., Skantar, A. M., Chitwood, D. J. 2004. A novel matrix metalloproteinase from the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology 136: 109-112. Interpretive Summary: The soybean cyst nematode is a microscopic soil worm that causes over one billion dollars in agricultural losses in the United States each year. Environmentally safe control methods for these losses are urgently needed. One approach for developing novel controls is by exploiting fundamental differences between the biological processes of nematodes and their host plants. In this paper, ARS scientists describe the discovery of an important gene essential for the hatching of the soybean cyst nematode. The DNA sequence of the gene was determined and compared to that of similar genes in other organisms, including nematodes that do not feed on plants. This comparative analysis indicated that the soybean cyst nematode gene is quite unusual. The results are significant because they provide the first report of this gene in a plant-feeding nematode and because they reveal a natural target that can be used to develop naturally based control strategies. Therefore, the results will be used by researchers developing safe and effective methods for controlling nematode-induced crop losses.
Technical Abstract: The involvement of enzymes in hatching has been proposed in many nematode species. In other organisms, hatching enzymes belong to a prodigious family of zinc-dependent metalloenzymes, in most cases matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). These enzymes regulate the composition and integrity of the extracellular matrix and play roles in eclosion and molting. Although research has been directed at proteases as targets for design of nematode control strategies, genes encoding metalloproteases from plant-parasitic nematodes have not yet been reported. In this paper, we report cDNA and genomic sequences encoding a novel MMP-like protease from the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, and a related sequence from the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis. These sequences lack homologues among any known MMP-like genes, including genes from species with completely sequenced genomes.