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In‐plant activation of root‐specific expression of a cytotoxic gene disrupts the development of the root‐knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica

Philip, S.M., Fosu‐Nyarko, J., Iqbal, S., Wang, Z. and Jones, M.G.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5002-0227 (2021) In‐plant activation of root‐specific expression of a cytotoxic gene disrupts the development of the root‐knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica. Plant Pathology .

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13497
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Abstract

Plant hosts can be engineered to disrupt the development of sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes or proper functioning of the feeding sites the nematodes induce. The use of constitutive promoters to express dsRNAs or nematode inhibitor proteins may be unreliable because of possible silencing or yield penalty from continuous expression in a plant host. This ill-effect can be avoided if a root-specific, nematode-responsive promoter (NRP) is used to drive the target nematode-inhibitory message. This study used the In Plant Activation (INPACT) system to express a barstar-controlled barnase in galls of Meloidogyne javanica and assessed how the engineered tobacco lines affected the growth and development of the nematodes. Of the 11 combinations of four NRPs and the CaMV 35S promoter assessed, the AtCel1 and TobRB7 combinations activated specific expression of split β-glucuronidase (GUS) and barnase genes in and around giant cells. The same NRP combination directed expression of the barnase gene in tobacco roots also constitutively expressing the barstar gene (SPBB transgenic lines). On roots of six T1 SPBB lines, there was up to 94% reduction in the number of galls with significantly smaller adult females compared to those on wild-type plants. Some of the females on lines SPBB4-1 and SPBB-4-2, for example, were not associated with galls. The results indicated the engineered plants disrupted M. javanica development and demonstrate the potential for controlled and localized expression of peptides, such as those that could block specific effectors, to disrupt initiation, formation, establishment, or proper functioning of feeding cells induced by damaging sedentary nematodes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2021 British Society for Plant Pathology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/63013
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