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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Institut Sophia Agrobiotech

UMR INRA - Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis - Cnrs

Expression of cell cycle inhibitor proteins controls root-knot nematode-induced gall size and nematode reproduction (IPN team)

Plant-parasitic nematodes are known worldwide for their ability to infect a wide range of cultivated plant species and it is estimated that they cause losses of billions euros every year.

During a compatible interaction, root-knot nematodes induce formation of galls through redifferentiation of vascular root cells into specialized giant-feeding cells essential for their growth and reproduction. Our previous studies revealed that gall development is highly dependent on recurring mitotic and endo-reduplication cycles. Functional studies of a plant-specific family of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, the KRPs (inhibitors of CDK named Kip-related Proteins), revealed that ectopic expression of KRP1, KRP2 or KRP4 can control gall size via binding and inhibiting CDK/cyclin complexes and thereby obstructing both the mitotic and the endocycle. Consequently, gall size is drastically decreased and nematodes can’t mature and reproduce properly. In vivo studies by confocal microscopy demonstrated that nematodes control the GFP-KRP2 cell cycle inhibitor protein levels during parasitism. Therefore, ectopic KRP gene expression can be used to reduce nematode propagation by disturbing feeding site development within plant hosts. Analogous strategies can be envisaged to control other plant pathogens that exploit the plant host cell cycle machinery.

KRP2 overexpression (OE) leads to a reduced gall size and a delay on nematode development. In vivo analysis of the GFP-KRP2 cell cycle inhibitor illustrates lower protein levels in young giant cell nuclei compared to nuclei in neighboring gall cells.

KRP2 overexpression (OE) leads to a reduced gall size and a delay on nematode development. In vivo analysis of the GFP-KRP2 cell cycle inhibitor illustrates lower protein levels in young giant cell nuclei compared to nuclei in neighboring gall cells.

  • Viera P., Escudero C., Rodiuc N., Boruc J., Russinova E., Glab N., Mota M., de Veylder L., Abad P., Engler G. & de Almeida-Engler J. (2013). Ectopic expression of kip-related proteins restrains root-knot nematode-feeding site expansion. New Phytologist DOI: 10.1111/nph.12255.
  • Vieira P., Engler G. & de Almeida Engler J. (2013). Enhanced levels of plant cell cycle inhibitors hamper root-knot nematode-induced feeding site development. Plant Signaling and Behavior8: e26409.
  • de Almeida-Engler J. and Gheysen G. (2013) Nematode-induced endoreduplication in plant host cells: why and how? Molecular Plant-Microbes Interactions, 26: 17-24.
  • Viera P., Kindt T., Gheysen G. & de Almeida-Engler J.(2013).An insight into critical endocycle genes for plant-parasitic nematode feeding sites establishment.Plant Signaling & Behavior 8:6, e24223.