• Arabidopsis;
  • Meloidogyne;
  • root-knot nematode;
  • complete Arabidopsis transcriptome microarray;
  • microarray


During a compatible interaction, root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) induce the redifferentiation of root cells into multinucleate nematode feeding cells (giant cells). Hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the surrounding cells leads to the formation of a root gall. We investigated the plant response to root-knot nematodes by carrying out a global analysis of gene expression during gall formation in Arabidopsis, using giant cell-enriched root tissues. Among 22 089 genes monitored with the complete Arabidopsis transcriptome microarray gene-specific tag, we identified 3373 genes that display significant differential expression between uninfected root tissues and galls at different developmental stages. Quantitative PCR analysis and the use of promoter GUS fusions confirmed the changes in mRNA levels observed in our microarray analysis. We showed that a comparable number of genes were found to be up- and downregulated, indicating that gene downregulation might be essential to allow proper gall formation. Moreover, many genes belonging to the same family are differently regulated in feeding cells. This genome-wide overview of gene expression during plant–nematode interaction provides new insights into nematode feeding-cell formation, and highlights that the suppression of plant defence is associated with nematode feeding-site development.