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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356697

Research Project: Regulation of Gene Expression in Alfalfa Development and Stress Tolerance

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Title: Cellular and trancriptional responses of resistant and susceptible cultivars of alfalfa to the root lesion nematode, Pratylenhus penetrans

Author
item VIEIRA, PAULO - Virginia Tech
item Mowery, Joe
item EISENBACK, JONATHAN - Virginia Tech
item Shao, Jonathan
item Nemchinov, Lev

Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2019
Publication Date: 7/13/2019
Citation: Vieira, P., Mowery, J.D., Eisenback, J.D., Shao, J.Y., Nemchinov, L.G. 2019. Cellular and trancriptional responses of resistant and susceptible cultivars of alfalfa to the root lesion nematode, Pratylenhus penetrans. Frontiers in Plant Science. 10:971. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00971.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00971

Interpretive Summary: Root lesion nematode (RLN) is a migratory species that attacks a broad range of crops, including alfalfa. High level of infection can reduce alfalfa forage yields and lead to decreased cold tolerance. Currently, there are no commercially certified varieties with root lesion nematode resistance. Little information on molecular interactions between alfalfa and the nematode is available. In this work, to advance our understanding of the host-pathogen interactions and to gain biological insights into genetics and genomics of host resistance to RLN, we performed a comprehensive assessment of resistant and susceptible interactions of alfalfa with RLN. Gene-candidates associated with alfalfa resistance and nematode parasitism were identified for potential use in alfalfa breeding programs or development of new nematicides, respectively. We propose that preformed or continuous defenses, could be a key to nematode resistance. Results of this study will be of interest to the researchers in academia and government organizations working in the fields of nematology and alfalfa improvement.

Technical Abstract: The root lesion nematode (RLN), Pratylenchus penetrans, is a migratory species that attacks a broad range of the crops, including alfalfa. High levels of infection can reduce alfalfa forage yields and lead to decreased cold tolerance. Currently, there are no commercially certified varieties with RLN resistance. Little information on molecular interactions between alfalfa and P. penetrans, that would shed light on mechanisms of alfalfa resistance to RLN, is available. To advance our understanding of the host-pathogen interactions and to gain biological insights into genetics and genomics of host resistance to RLN, we performed a comprehensive assessment of resistant and susceptible interactions of alfalfa with P. penetrans that included root penetration studies, ultrastructural observations, and global gene expression profiling of host plants and the nematode. Several gene-candidates associated with alfalfa resistance to P. penetrans and nematode parasitism genes encoding nematode effector proteins, were identified for potential use in alfalfa breeding programs or development of new nematicides, respectively. We propose that preformed or constitutive defenses, such as significant accumulation of tannin deposits in root cells of the resistant cultivar, could be a key to nematode resistance, at least for the specific case of alfalfa-P. penetrans interaction.