Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Lu, S., Tian, D., Deng, X., Wang, X. 2006. A novel mechanism of gene regulation identified in the chorismate mutase gene from the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis [abstract]. Phytopathology. 96:S71.
Technical Abstract: Alternative pre-mRNA splicing, a widely used means to control gene expression in eukaryotic organisms, has not been documented in plant parasitic nematodes. Here we report that a chorismate mutase gene (GrCM1) expressed exclusively within the subventral gland cells of the potato cyst nematode Golobodera rostochiensis is alternatively spliced through intron retention. Intron retention is one of the four major types of alternative splicing (AS) and found to be a major event in AS in Arabidopsis. GrCM1 contains three introns in its genomic sequence. Cloning and PCR analysis using intron-specific primers have revealed that greater than 50% of GrCM1 transcripts expressed in the pre-parasitic juveniles have intron II retained. The retention event could generate a truncated protein lacking the conserved chorismate mutase domain due to the presence of a premature stop codon within the retained intron. GrCM1 is also expressed in nematode parasitic stages, however, a much lower percentage of GrCM1 transcripts were found to contain intron II compared to that in the pre-parasitic stage. Additionally, this intron retention event was found to be rare in the parasitic stages of a virulent pathotype of G. rostochiensis. A possible role of GrCM1 expression in nematode parasitism/virulence is currently under investigation.