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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306381

Title: Conserved nematode signaling molecules elicit plant defenses and pathogen resistance

item MANOSALVA, PATRICIA - Boyce Thompson Institute
item MANOHAR, MURLI - Boyce Thompson Institute
item BOSE, NEELANJAN - Boyce Thompson Institute
item KOCH, ALINE - Justus-Liebig University
item CHEN, SHIYAN - Cornell University - New York
item HIND, SARAH - Boyce Thompson Institute
item MARTIN, GREGORY - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Wang, Xiaohong
item KOGEL, KARL-HEINZ - Justus-Liebig University
item SCHROEDER, FRANK - Boyce Thompson Institute
item KLESSIG, DANIEL - Boyce Thompson Institute

Submitted to: Nature Communications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2015
Publication Date: 7/23/2015
Citation: Manosalva, P., Manohar, M., Bose, N., Koch, A., Chen, S., Hind, S., Martin, G., Wang, X., Kogel, K., Schroeder, F., Klessig, D.F. 2015. Conserved nematode signaling molecules elicit plant defenses and pathogen resistance. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8795.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are devastating pests causing substantial crop losses annually. These nematodes produce a conserved group of small molecules, known as ascarosides, which are critical for nematode development and behavior. In this study, we showed that nematode ascarosides can activate plant defenses. Arabidopsis and tobacco plants as well as several crop plant species, such as tomato, potato, and barley, treated with a natural variant of ascarosides, ascr#18, showed increased resistance to a wide range of microbial pathogens. This study indicates that ascarosides may be used to enhance plant protection against pathogen attacks.

Technical Abstract: Nematodes, which are ubiquitous in soil and are estimated to cause $100 B of agricultural damage annually, produce novel, highly conserved small sugar-based molecules call ascarosides. Ascarosides play critical roles in nematode development and behavior. We report here that plants recognize these unique molecular signatures of nematodes and respond by activating defenses against a broad spectrum of microbial pathogens. Nanomolar amounts of ascr#18, which is produced by many plant-parasitic nematodes, induced hallmark defenses responses including media alkalinization. In addition ascr#18 induced both salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-mediated defense pathways and enhanced resistance to a virulent bacterial pathogen and cyst nematode in Arabidopsis. Ascr#18 treatment via leaves or roots also increase resistance in tobacco, tomato, potato, and barley to foliar bacterial, oomycete, or fungal pathogens, respectively. Since other ascarosides also activated defenses in these plants, we propose to call these unique molecular signatures of Nematode-Associated Molecular Pattern molecules (NAMPs).