Differential gene expression in Arabidopsis following infection by plant-parasitic nematodes Meloidogyne incognita and Heterodera schachtii


* Correspondence: E-mail: p.e.urwin@leeds.ac.uk


Whole genome microarrays were used to study plant gene expression in mature Meloidogyne incognita-induced galls in Arabidopsis. We found 959 genes to be significantly differentially expressed, and two-thirds of these were down-regulated. Microarray results were confirmed by qRT-PCR. The temporal and spatial responses of four differentially expressed genes were analysed using GUS reporter plants following infection with M. incognita and the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii. The ammonium transporter gene AtAMT1;2 was consistently and locally repressed in response to both nematodes at all developmental stages. The lateral organ boundary domain gene LBD41 showed up-regulation in the feeding sites of both nematode species, although there was variation in expression in saccate H. schachtii female feeding sites. Expression of an actin depolymerizing factor ADF3 and a lipid transfer protein was induced in feeding sites of both nematodes at the fusiform stage and this persisted in feeding sites of saccate M. incognita. These results contribute to the knowledge of how plant gene expression responds to parasitism by these nematodes as well as highlighting further differences in the mechanisms of development and maintenance of these feeding site structures.