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Plant J. 2017 Oct;92(2):211-228. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13647. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Divergent expression of cytokinin biosynthesis, signaling and catabolism genes underlying differences in feeding sites induced by cyst and root-knot nematodes.

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Division of Plant Sciences and Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA.
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn, INRES - Molecular Phytomedicine, Karlrobert-Kreiten-Straße 13, D-53115, Bonn, Germany.
Institute of Biology/Applied Genetics, Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, D-14195, Berlin, Germany.
Institute of Plant Sciences, Department of Plant Physiology, University of Graz, Schubertstraße 51, 8010, Graz, Austria.
Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka, 560-0043, Japan.


Cyst and root-knot nematodes are obligate parasites of economic importance with a remarkable ability to reprogram root cells into unique metabolically active feeding sites. Previous studies have suggested a role for cytokinin in feeding site formation induced by these two types of nematodes, but the mechanistic details have not yet been described. Using Arabidopsis as a host plant species, we conducted a comparative analysis of cytokinin genes in response to the beet cyst nematode (BCN), Heterodera schachtii, and the root-knot nematode (RKN), Meloidogyne incognita. We identified distinct differences in the expression of cytokinin biosynthesis, catabolism and signaling genes in response to infection by BCN and RKN, suggesting differential manipulation of the cytokinin pathway by these two nematode species. Furthermore, we evaluated Arabidopsis histidine kinase receptor mutant lines ahk2/3, ahk2/4 and ahk3/4 in response to RKN infection. Similar to our previous studies with BCN, these lines were significantly less susceptible to RKN without compromising nematode penetration, suggesting a requirement of cytokinin signaling in RKN feeding site formation. Moreover, an analysis of ahk double mutants using CycB1;1:GUS/ahk introgressed lines revealed contrasting differences in the cytokinin receptors mediating cell cycle activation in feeding sites induced by BCN and RKN.


Arabidopsis histidine kinase; Arabidopsis response regulators; Heterodera; Meloidogyne; beet cyst nematode; cytokinin; cytokinin oxidases/dehydrogenases; isopentenyltransferase; nematode; root-know nematode

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