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Characterisation and functional importance of β-1,4-endoglucanases from the potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor

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Plant-parasitic nematodes have developed a series of enzymes to degrade the rigid plant cell wall; β-1,4-endoglucanase is a very important component. Ditylenchus destructor is a migratory endoparasite for which few molecular data have been published. Two novel β-1,4-endoglucanases (Dd-eng-1a and Dd-eng-2) were cloned and characterised from D. destructor. The DD-ENG-1A putative protein consists of a signal peptide, a catalytic domain and a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). By contrast, the CBM domain is absent from DD-ENG-2. The exon/intron structure and phylogenetic tree indicate that both cellulase genes could have evolved from common ancestral genes. Southern blotting confirmed that the β-1,4-endoglucanases were of nematode origin and a member of a small multi-gene family. In situ hybridisation localised the expression of Dd-eng-1a and Dd-eng-2 to the subventral pharyngeal glands. RT-PCR showed that both genes were expressed in the adult female and second-stage juvenile. The stylet secretions of D. destructor showed clear cellulase activity in carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) plate assay, and similar results were observed in total homogenates and DD-ENG-1A and DD-ENG-2 recombinant proteins. These results demonstrated that D. destructor can produce and secrete functional cellulases. Silencing the putative β-1,4-endoglucanases by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) resulted in an average decrease in infection of 50%. Successful RNAi in vitro was demonstrated in this study, which confirmed that Dd-eng-1a and Dd-eng-2 play important roles in nematode parasitism.

Affiliations: 1: 1State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, P.R. China; 2: 2Key Laboratory of Pests Comprehensive Governance for Tropical Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China, Environment and Plant Protection Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science, Danzhou 571737, P.R. China

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2014-05-28
2016-12-04

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