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RNAi-induced silencing of an effector confers transcriptional oscillation in another group of effectors in the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita

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The sophisticated parasitic tactic of sedentary endoparasitic nematodes seems to involve the simultaneous alteration of the expression of multitude of its effector genes in order to hijack the plant metabolic and developmental pathway. In concordance with this hypothesis, we have targeted some candidate effector genes of Meloidogyne incognita to understand the possible interaction among those effectors for successful infection of the host plant. In vitro RNAi strategy was used to knock down M. incognita-specific pioneer effector genes, such as msp-18, msp-20, msp-24, msp-33 and msp-16 (known to interact with plant transcription factor), to investigate their possible effect on the expression of key cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDE) and vice versa. Supported by the phenotypic data, intriguingly our study revealed that induced suppression of these pioneer genes cause transcriptional alteration of CWDE genes in M. incognita. This remarkable finding may provide some useful links for future research on nematode effector interaction.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Nematology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, 110012

*Corresponding author, e-mail:;

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