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Comparative Genomics Reveals Novel Target Genes towards Specific Control of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

Abstract : Plant-parasitic nematodes cause extensive annual yield losses to worldwide agricultural production. Most cultivated plants have no known resistance against nematodes and the few bearing a resistance gene can be overcome by certain species. Chemical methods that have been deployed to control nematodes have largely been banned from use due to their poor specificity and high toxicity. Hence, there is an urgent need for the development of cleaner and more specific control methods. Recent advances in nematode genomics, including in phytoparasitic species, provide an unprecedented opportunity to identify genes and functions specific to these pests. Using phylogenomics, we compared 61 nematode genomes, including 16 for plant-parasitic species and identified more than 24,000 protein families specific to these parasites. In the genome of Meloidogyne incognita, one of the most devastating plant parasites, we found ca. 10,000 proteins with orthologs restricted only to phytoparasitic species and no further homology in protein databases. Among these phytoparasite-specific proteins, ca. 1000 shared the same properties as known secreted effectors involved in essential parasitic functions. Of these, 68 were novel and showed strong expression during the endophytic phase of the nematode life cycle, based on both RNA-seq and RT-qPCR analyses. Besides effector candidates, transcription-related and neuro-perception functions were enriched in phytoparasite-specific proteins, revealing interesting targets for nematode control methods. This phylogenomics analysis constitutes a unique resource for the further understanding of the genetic basis of nematode adaptation to phytoparasitism and for the development of more efficient control methods.
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Contributor : Roselyne Tâche <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 3:09:37 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 18, 2021 - 3:29:07 AM


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Priscila Grynberg, Roberto Coiti Togawa, Leticia Dias de Freitas, Jose Dijair Antonino, Corinne Rancurel, et al.. Comparative Genomics Reveals Novel Target Genes towards Specific Control of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Genes, MDPI, 2020, 11 (11), pp.1347. ⟨10.3390/genes11111347⟩. ⟨hal-03263736⟩



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