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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2000 Mar;13(3):309-15.

Changes in mRNA abundance within Heterodera schachtii-infected roots of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


Gene expression changes in plant roots infected by plant-parasitic cyst nematodes are involved in the formation of nematode feeding sites. We analyzed mRNA abundance changes within roots of Arabidopsis thaliana during the early compatible interaction with Heterodera schachtii, the sugarbeet cyst nematode. Approximately 1,600 root sections, each containing a single parasitic nematode and its feeding site, and 1,600 adjacent, nematode-free root sections were excised from aseptic A. thaliana cultures 3 to 4 days after inoculation with H. schachtii. These tissue samples were termed infected and uninfected, respectively. Preparasitic nematodes were added to the uninfected tissue sample to maintain the nematode to plant tissue proportion. mRNA extracted from these two tissue samples was subjected to differential display analysis. Thirty-six cDNA clones corresponding to mRNA species with different abundance between both tissue samples were isolated. Of these clones, 24 were of A. thaliana origin and 12 were from H. schachtii. Differential display data predicted that the A. thaliana cDNA clones corresponded to 13 transcripts that were more abundant in the infected root sections and 11 transcripts that were more abundant in the uninfected root sections. H. schachtii cDNA clones were predicted to correspond to four transcripts that were more abundant in parasitic nematodes and to eight transcripts that were more abundant in preparasitic nematodes. In situ hybridization experiments confirmed the mRNA abundance changes in A. thaliana roots predicted by the differential display analyses for two A. thaliana clones.

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