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Differential activation of ABI3 and LEA genes upon plant parasitic nematode infection


  • Present addresses: CropDesign N.V., Technologiepark 3, B-9052 Gent, Belgium; ‡Departamento de Agroecología, CCMA, CSIC. Serrano 115 dpdo, 28006 Madrid, Spain; §Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, UMR, CNRS, CEA, UJF, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble cedex 9, France; and ¶Vakgroep Moleculaire Biotechnologie, Faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen, Universiteit Gent, Coupure links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.

Correspondence: Tel.: +32 92645888; fax: +32 92646219; e-mail:


Promoter activity of ABI3 and of three LEA genes was monitored in Arabidopsis transgenics infected with Heterodera schachtii and Meloidogyne incognita. ABI3::GUS expression was induced (in four different promoter deletion constructs) during early infection stages with H. schachtii. Similar GUS expression patterns, though slightly later in time compared with ABI3, were observed for one of the LEA promoter constructs, whereas the other two were not induced by H. schachtii. Expression was mainly observed in the syncytia. In contrast, little or no reporter gene expression was observed upon infection with M. incognita. The data suggest a role for ABI3 during the formation and active growth of the syncytium and demonstrate a marked difference between syncytium and giant cell ontogenesis.