Author(s): Huang G, Allen R, Davis EL, Baum TJ, Hussey RS
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Abstract Secreted parasitism proteins encoded by parasitism genes expressed in esophageal gland cells mediate infection and parasitism of plants by root-knot nematodes (RKN). Parasitism gene 16D10 encodes a conserved RKN secretory peptide that stimulates root growth and functions as a ligand for a putative plant transcription factor. We used in vitro and in vivo RNA interference approaches to silence this parasitism gene in RKN and validate that the parasitism gene has an essential function in RKN parasitism of plants. Ingestion of 16D10 dsRNA in vitro silenced the target parasitism gene in RKN and resulted in reduced nematode infectivity. In vivo expression of 16D10 dsRNA in Arabidopsis resulted in resistance effective against the four major RKN species. Because no known natural resistance gene has this wide effective range of RKN resistance, bioengineering crops expressing dsRNA that silence target RKN parasitism genes to disrupt the parasitic process represents a viable and flexible means of developing novel durable RKN-resistant crops and could provide crops with unprecedented broad resistance to RKN.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Gene Technology