WOX11-mediated adventitious lateral root formation modulates tolerance of Arabidopsis to cyst nematode infections

J. Willig*, N. Guarneri, M.H. van Wijk, Thomas van Loon, Sri Wahyuni, Ivan E. Astudillo-Estévez1, V.A. Willemsen, A. Goverse, M.G. Sterken, J.L. Lozano Torres, J. Bakker, G. Smant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Plasticity of the root system of plants is crucial for their survival in changing environments, such as biotic stress caused by cyst nematodes. Cyst nematode infections have a significant impact on the overall growth and development of the plant. In response to damage caused by the beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii, the JA receptor that CORONATINE INSENSITIVE (COI)1 and the JA responsive transcription factor ETHYLENE RESPONSIVE FACTOR (ERF)109 induce auxin accumulation at these infection sites inducing secondary roots. However, the function of these roots and the role of other genes involved in this pathway remains unknown. Here, we show that the transcription factor WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX (WOX)11 plays a necessary role in the emergence of secondary roots upon H. schachtii infection. Importantly, these secondary roots are formed independently of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORS (ARF)7 and ARF19, thereby making these roots adventitious lateral roots (adLRs). We also found that these adLRs are formed in a nematode density-dependent manner, suggesting that these roots are formed in response to damage. Fluorescent confocal microscopy revealed that indeed COI1 and ERF109 contribute to WOX11 expression. Finally, we found that adLR induced by COI1, ERF109, and WOX11 contribute to tolerance of Arabidopsis to cyst nematode infection by minimizing the negative impact on growth rates at early stages of infection.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023
Event10th international symposium on root development – Rooting2023 - Monasterium PoortAckere VIB, Gent, Belgium
Duration: 15 May 202318 May 2023


Conference10th international symposium on root development – Rooting2023
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