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Comprehensive Transcriptome Profiling in Tomato Reveals a Role for Glycosyltransferase in Mi-Mediated Nematode Resistance

Schaff, Jennifer E., Nielsen, Dahlia M., Smith, Chris P., Scholl, Elizabeth H., Bird, David McK.
Plant physiology 2007 v.144 no.2 pp. 1079-1092
Meloidogyne hapla, Meloidogyne incognita, Solanum lycopersicum, cultivars, gene silencing, genes, root-knot nematodes, roots, tomatoes, transcriptome
Root-knot nematode (RKN; Meloidogyne spp.) is a major crop pathogen worldwide. Effective resistance exists for a few plant species, including that conditioned by Mi in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). We interrogated the root transcriptome of the resistant (Mi+) and susceptible (Mi-) cultivars 'Motelle' and 'Moneymaker,' respectively, during a time-course infection by the Mi-susceptible RKN species Meloidogyne incognita and the Mi-resistant species Meloidogyne hapla. In the absence of RKN infection, only a single significantly regulated gene, encoding a glycosyltransferase, was detected. However, RKN infection influenced the expression of broad suites of genes; more than half of the probes on the array identified differential gene regulation between infected and uninfected root tissue at some stage of RKN infection. We discovered 217 genes regulated during the time of RKN infection corresponding to establishment of feeding sites, and 58 genes that exhibited differential regulation in resistant roots compared to uninfected roots, including the glycosyltransferase. Using virus-induced gene silencing to silence the expression of this gene restored susceptibility to M. incognita in 'Motelle,' indicating that this gene is necessary for resistance to RKN. Collectively, our data provide a picture of global gene expression changes in roots during compatible and incompatible associations with RKN, and point to candidates for further investigation.