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The 16S rRNA gene of Pasteuria penetrans provides an early diagnostic of infection of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.)

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For more content, see Nematologica.

The molecular interactions between hosts and parasites is an active area of research, and the parasitism of root-knot nematodes, obligate parasites of plants, by the hyper-parasitic bacterium Pasteuria penetrans offers a model by which to investigate aspects of innate immunity. Using a pouch system we were able to demonstrate by PCR, infection of Meloidogyne incognita 4 days prior to any microscopic observations of parasitism. The pouch system, although not strictly axenic, offered a relatively clean, flexible approach with a greatly reduced number of contaminating microbial species than in any soil-based system, whereby the early stages of nematode infection could be manipulated and controlled.

Affiliations: 1: 1Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK


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