Myo-inositol oxygenase genes are involved in the development of syncytia induced by Heterodera schachtii in Arabidopsis roots
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- • In plants, UDP-glucuronic acid is synthesized by the oxidation of UDP-glucose by UDP-glucose dehydrogenase or the oxygenation of free myo-inositol by myo-inositol oxygenase (MIOX). In Arabidopsis, myo-inositol oxygenase is encoded by four genes. Transcriptome analysis of syncytia induced by the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii in Arabidopsis roots revealed that MIOX genes are among the most strongly upregulated genes.
- • We have used β-glucuronidase (GUS) analysis, in situ reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and real-time RT-PCR to study the expression of all four MIOX genes in syncytia induced by H. schachtii in Arabidopsis roots. All these methods showed that MIOX genes are strongly induced in syncytia. GeneChip data were analysed for the expression of genes related to the MIOX pathway (mapman).
- • Two complementary double mutants were used to study the importance of MIOX genes. Results of the infection assay with double mutants in two combinations (Δmiox1+2, Δmiox4+5) showed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the number of females per plant when compared with the wild-type. Furthermore, syncytia in double mutants were significantly smaller than in wild-type plants.
- • Our data demonstrate an important role of the MIOX genes for syncytium development and for the development of female nematodes.