Syncytium development: the result of a sophisticated manipulation of plant cells by cyst nematodes

A. Goverse, A. Karczmarek, M. Pierzgalska, H.A. Overmars, M. Filipecki, J. Bakker, J. Helder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Potato cyst nematodes have evolved a sophisticated way to parasitise their host plants. They migrate intracellularly through the root, and an outer cortex cell is selected as a starting point for syncytium formation. The recruitment of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes by the nematode results in an expansion of the syncytium towards the vascular bundle via a so-called cortical bridge. A local accumulation of auxin is crucial for syncytium development.Analysis of cellulase expression patterns in tomato revealed that two auxin-inducible members (LECel7 and LE-Cel8) were speci¿ cally up-regulated during the onset of syncytium development. Intriguingly, nodule formation in legumes starts in the cortex, proliferates towards the stele and is also accompanied by a local accumulation of auxin. This process is preceded by the expression of ENOD40. To see whether this gene is also essential for syncytium development, the role of ENOD40 was investigated in the non-legumes tomato and Arabidopsis upon cyst nematode infection. To unravel the molecular mechanisms that underlie syncytium induction more thoroughly, a high throughput approach is needed. cDNA-AFLP was used to monitor the expression of auxin-regulated genes in cyst nematode-infected tomato roots, and some preliminary results will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNematology Symposium abstracts
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Pages137 (044)-138
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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