Submitted to: Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Infection of soybean roots by the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), a worm pathogen, results in many millions of dollars in lost production each year. SCN is the number one cause of lost productivity in soybean in the U.S. It is important to understand biological processes involved with infection before we can mount an effective defense. In this research the authors characterized the changes that take place in a root when the worm attacks. They also identified several genes that responded to attack and showed that the genes are possible candidates for defense strategies. This work will help researchers define strategies for engineering soybeans to defend against attack by SCN saving significant money for soybean producers.
Technical Abstract: Infection of the soybean root by the soybean cyst nematode (SCN, Heterodera glycines Ichinohe) induces a well-documented, yet, poorly understood response by the host plant. The plant response, involving the differentiation of a feeding structure, or syncytium, facilitates the feeding and reproduction of the nematode to the detriment of the host. We utilized a genetically simplified system involving a single recessive soybean resistance gene effective against an inbred nematode strain, VL1, to examine cytological and gene expression changes that occur during the compatible plant-nematode interaction. Of the plant genes whose expression we found increased upon nematode infection, we report here on seven genes (catalase, cyclin, EF-l alpha, beta-1,3-endoglucanase, HMGR, HSP70, LEA14), which we have, along with the resistance gene, positioned on the public genetic linkage map of soybean. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis proposed by others that feeding site development involves the dramatic modulation of gene expression as compared to surrounding root cells. Genes affected are likely to be those influencing the conversion of vascular cylinder initials for the rapid transfer of plant solutes to the nematode.