Expressed sequence tags of the peanut pod nematode Ditylenchus africanus: the first transcriptome analysis of an Anguinid nematode.
ABSTRACT: In this study, 4847 expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) from mixed stages of the migratory plant-parasitic nematode Ditylenchus africanus (peanut pod nematode) were investigated. It is the first molecular survey of a nematode which belongs to the family of the Anguinidae (order Rhabditida, superfamily Sphaerularioidea). The sequences were clustered into 2596 unigenes, of which 43% did not show any homology to known protein, nucleotide, nematode EST or plant-parasitic nematode genome sequences. Gene ontology mapping revealed that most putative proteins are involved in developmental and reproductive processes. In addition unigenes involved in oxidative stress as well as in anhydrobiosis, such as LEA (late embryogenesis abundant protein) and trehalose-6-phosphate synthase were identified. Other tags showed homology to genes previously described as being involved in parasitism (expansin, SEC-2, calreticulin, 14-3-3b and various allergen proteins). In situ hybridization revealed that the expression of a putative expansin and a venom allergen protein was restricted to the gland cell area of the nematode, being in agreement with their presumed role in parasitism. Furthermore, seven putative novel candidate parasitism genes were identified based on the prediction of a signal peptide in the corresponding protein sequence and homologous ESTs exclusively in parasitic nematodes. These genes are interesting for further research and functional characterization. Finally, 34 unigenes were retained as good target candidates for future RNAi experiments, because of their nematode specific nature and observed lethal phenotypes of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs.
Project description:The potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor, is a very destructive nematode pest on many agriculturally important crops worldwide, but the molecular characterization of its parasitism of plant has been limited. The effectors involved in nematode parasitism of plant for several sedentary endo-parasitic nematodes such as Heterodera glycines, Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne incognita have been identified and extensively studied over the past two decades. Ditylenchus destructor, as a migratory plant parasitic nematode, has different feeding behavior, life cycle and host response. Comparing the transcriptome and parasitome among different types of plant-parasitic nematodes is the way to understand more fully the parasitic mechanism of plant nematodes. We undertook the approach of sequencing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from a mixed stage cDNA library of D. destructor. This is the first study of D. destructor ESTs. A total of 9800 ESTs were grouped into 5008 clusters including 3606 singletons and 1402 multi-member contigs, representing a catalog of D. destructor genes. Implementing a bioinformatics' workflow, we found 1391 clusters have no match in the available gene database; 31 clusters only have similarities to genes identified from D. africanus, the most closely related species to D. destructor; 1991 clusters were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO); 1550 clusters were assigned enzyme commission (EC) numbers; and 1211 clusters were mapped to 181 KEGG biochemical pathways. 22 ESTs had similarities to reported nematode effectors. Interestedly, most of the effectors identified in this study are involved in host cell wall degradation or modification, such as 1,4-beta-glucanse, 1,3-beta-glucanse, pectate lyase, chitinases and expansin, or host defense suppression such as calreticulin, annexin and venom allergen-like protein. This result implies that the migratory plant-parasitic nematode D. destructor secrets similar effectors to those of sedentary plant nematodes. Finally we further characterized the two D. destructor expansin proteins.
Project description:Parasite proteins secreted at the interface of nematode and host are believed to play an essential role in parasitism. Here, we present an efficient pipeline of bio-informatic algorithms and laboratory experiments to identify candidate parasitism genes within nematode secretomes, i.e. the repertoire of secreted proteins in an organism. We performed our approach on 12 218 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) originating from three life stages of the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne chitwoodi--a molecularly unexplored root-knot nematode species. The ESTs from M. chitwoodi were assembled into 5880 contigs and open reading frames translated from the consensus sequences were searched for features of putative signal peptides for protein secretion and trans-membrane regions, resulting in the identification of 398 secretome members. The products of parasitism genes are secreted by a range of organs, including the oesophageal, amphidial and rectal glands, the intestine, and the hypodermis. To localize the site of expression in M. chitwoodi, we subjected the most abundant secretome members to in situ hybridization microscopy. We found hybridization of one tag in the dorsal oesophageal gland, seven in the two subventral oesophageal glands, two in the intestine and one tag hybridized to the tail tip in the proximity of the phasmids. Four sequences showed similarity to putative parasitism genes from other nematode species, whereas seven represented pioneering sequences. Our approach presents an efficient method to identify candidate parasitism genes, which does not require sophisticated cDNA isolation and selection protocols, and can therefore be used as a powerful starting point for the molecular investigation of parasites.
Project description:One of the reasons for the progressive yield decline observed in cereals production is the rapid build-up of populations of the cereal cyst nematode (CCN, Heterodera avenae). These nematodes secrete so-call effectors into their host plant to suppress the plant defense responses, alter plant signaling pathways and then induce the formation of syncytium after infection. However, little is known about its molecular mechanism and parasitism during incompatible infection. To gain insight into its repertoire of parasitism genes, we investigated the transcriptome of the early parasitic second-stage (30 hours, 3 days and 9 days post infection) juveniles of the CCN as well as the CCN infected tissue of the host Aegilops variabilis by Illumina sequencing. Among all assembled unigenes, 681 putative genes of parasitic nematode were found, in which 56 putative effectors were identified, including novel pioneer genes and genes corresponding to previously reported effectors. All the 681 CCN unigenes were mapped to 229 GO terms and 200 KEGG pathways, including growth, development and several stimulus-related signaling pathways. Sixteen clusters were involved in the CCN unigene expression atlas at the early stages during infection process, and three of which were significantly gene-enriched. Besides, the protein-protein interaction network analysis revealed 35 node unigenes which may play an important role in the plant-CCN interaction. Moreover, in a comparison of differentially expressed genes between the pre-parasitic juveniles and the early parasitic juveniles, we found that hydrolase activity was up-regulated in pre J2s whereas binding activity was upregulated in infective J2s. RT-qPCR analysis on some selected genes showed detectable expression, indicating possible secretion of the proteins and putative role in infection. This study provided better insights into the incompatible interaction between H. avenae and the host plant Ae. varabilis. Moreover, RNAi targets with potential lethality were screened out and primarily validated, which provide candidates for engineering-based control of cereal cyst nematode in crops breeding.
Project description:The entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and its symbiotic bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens, are important biological control agents of insect pests. This nematode-bacterium-insect association represents an emerging tripartite model for research on mutualistic and parasitic symbioses. Elucidation of mechanisms underlying these biological processes may serve as a foundation for improving the biological control potential of the nematode-bacterium complex. This large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis effort enables gene discovery and development of microsatellite markers. These ESTs will also aid in the annotation of the upcoming complete genome sequence of H. bacteriophora.A total of 31,485 high quality ESTs were generated from cDNA libraries of the adult H. bacteriophora TTO1 strain. Cluster analysis revealed the presence of 3,051 contigs and 7,835 singletons, representing 10,886 distinct EST sequences. About 72% of the distinct EST sequences had significant matches (E value < 1e-5) to proteins in GenBank's non-redundant (nr) and Wormpep190 databases. We have identified 12 ESTs corresponding to 8 genes potentially involved in RNA interference, 22 ESTs corresponding to 14 genes potentially involved in dauer-related processes, and 51 ESTs corresponding to 27 genes potentially involved in defense and stress responses. Comparison to ESTs and proteins of free-living nematodes led to the identification of 554 parasitic nematode-specific ESTs in H. bacteriophora, among which are those encoding F-box-like/WD-repeat protein theromacin, Bax inhibitor-1-like protein, and PAZ domain containing protein. Gene Ontology terms were assigned to 6,685 of the 10,886 ESTs. A total of 168 microsatellite loci were identified with primers designable for 141 loci.A total of 10,886 distinct EST sequences were identified from adult H. bacteriophora cDNA libraries. BLAST searches revealed ESTs potentially involved in parasitism, RNA interference, defense responses, stress responses, and dauer-related processes. The putative microsatellite markers identified in H. bacteriophora ESTs will enable genetic mapping and population genetic studies. These genomic resources provide the material base necessary for genome annotation, microarray development, and in-depth gene functional analysis.
Project description:Radopholus similis is an important migratory endoparasitic nematode, severely harms banana, citrus and many other commercial crops. Little is known about the molecular mechanism of infection and pathogenesis of R. similis. In this study, 64761 unigenes were generated from eggs, juveniles, females and males of R. similis. 11443 unigenes showed significant expression difference among these four life stages. Genes involved in host parasitism, anti-host defense and other biological processes were predicted. There were 86 and 102 putative genes coding for cell wall degrading enzymes and antioxidase respectively. The amount and type of putative parasitic-related genes reported in sedentary endoparasitic plant nematodes are variable from those of migratory parasitic nematodes on plant aerial portion. There were no sequences annotated to effectors in R. similis, involved in feeding site formation of sedentary endoparasites nematodes. This transcriptome data provides a new insight into the parasitic and pathogenic molecular mechanisms of the migratory endoparasitic nematodes. It also provides a broad idea for further research on R. similis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plant parasitic nematodes are major pathogens of most crops. Molecular characterization of these species as well as the development of new techniques for control can benefit from genomic approaches. As an entrée to characterizing plant parasitic nematode genomes, we analyzed 5,700 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from second-stage larvae (L2) of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. RESULTS:From these, 1,625 EST clusters were formed and classified by function using the Gene Ontology (GO) hierarchy and the Kyoto KEGG database. L2 larvae, which represent the infective stage of the life cycle before plant invasion, express a diverse array of ligand-binding proteins and abundant cytoskeletal proteins. L2 are structurally similar to Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva and the presence of transcripts encoding glyoxylate pathway enzymes in the M. incognita clusters suggests that root-knot nematode larvae metabolize lipid stores while in search of a host. Homology to other species was observed in 79% of translated cluster sequences, with the C. elegans genome providing more information than any other source. In addition to identifying putative nematode-specific and Tylenchida-specific genes, sequencing revealed previously uncharacterized horizontal gene transfer candidates in Meloidogyne with high identity to rhizobacterial genes including homologs of nodL acetyltransferase and novel cellulases. CONCLUSIONS:With sequencing from plant parasitic nematodes accelerating, the approaches to transcript characterization described here can be applied to more extensive datasets and also provide a foundation for more complex genome analyses.
Project description:Nematodes are highly abundant animals, and many species have a parasitic lifestyle. Nematode parasites are important pathogens of humans and other animals, and there is considerable interest in understanding their molecular and genomic adaptations to nematode parasitism. This has been approached in three main ways: comparing the genomes of closely related parasitic and free-living taxa, comparing the gene expression of parasitic and free-living life cycle stages of parasitic nematode species, and analysing the molecules that parasitic nematodes excrete and secrete. To date, these studies show that many species of parasitic nematodes have genomes that have large gene families coding for proteases/peptidases, protease inhibitors, SCP/TAPS proteins and acetylcholinesterases, and in many cases there is evidence that these appear to be used by parasitic stages inside hosts, and are often secreted. Many parasitic nematodes have taxa-restricted gene families that also appear to be involved in parasitism, emphasizing that there is still much to be discovered about what it takes to be a parasitic nematode.
Project description:Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are an effective approach for discovery of novel genes. In the current study, approximately 250 ESTs of the cattle parasitic nematode Setaria digitata were examined and a cDNA clone identified whose coding sequence could not be functionally annotated by searching over publicly available genome, protein, EST and STS databases. Here, we report the extensive characterization of this ORF (UP) and its homologues using a bioinformatic approach. Uncharacterized protein (SDUP) of S. digitata consists of 204 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight and isoelectric point of 22.8KDa and 9.94, respectively. A search carried out using SDUP over nucleotide, EST and protein databases at NCBI, NEMBASE3 and Parasite Genome Database (PGD) identified homologous counterparts from the human parasitic nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti (WB), Brugia malayi (BM), Onchocerca volvulus (OV), the mouse filarial worm Litomosoides sigmodontis (LS), swine parasitic nematodes Ascaris suum (AS) and diverged counterparts from the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne hapla (MH) and free living nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans (CE) and Caenorhabditis briggsae (CB). Phylogenetic analyses revealed the UPs to be undergoing divergent evolution. A search of the ESTs at PGD showed that UP is expressed in all the stages of BM. Secondary structure analyses of multiply-aligned sequences of homologues using Jpred server indicated UPs to be rich in beta-pleated structures. TMMHH server and beta barrel finder programme indicated, UPs to be neither transmembrane or beta barrels proteins but are likely to be globular proteins. Further, the Motif discovery tool of MEME identified three novel potential motifs for UPS, of which only two are present in CE, CB & MH. Analyses of UPs using Signal IP, TargetP, Psort servers predicted this group of proteins to be devoid of signal peptide cleavage sites, are not mitochondrial targeting peptides but appear to be localized to the nucleus, respectively. Further analyses of the UPs using ScanProsite server for phosphorylation revealed potential sites for cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinase, Protein kinase C and Casein kinase II. Putative functional analysis using ProtFun 2.1 Server indicated UPs to be nonenzymatic, growth factor like protein. Finally, collating all the information derived from bioinformatic analyses, we conclude that the UPs of nematodes are most likely to be expressed at all stages in the life cycle, localized to the nucleus, regulated by phosphorylation, rich in beta-pleated strands and are growth factor like nematode specific proteins.
Project description:Some organisms can survive extreme desiccation by entering into a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis. Panagrolaimus superbus is a free-living anhydrobiotic nematode that can survive rapid environmental desiccation. The mechanisms that P. superbus uses to combat the potentially lethal effects of cellular dehydration may include the constitutive and inducible expression of protective molecules, along with behavioural and/or morphological adaptations that slow the rate of cellular water loss. In addition, inducible repair and revival programmes may also be required for successful rehydration and recovery from anhydrobiosis.To identify constitutively expressed candidate anhydrobiotic genes we obtained 9,216 ESTs from an unstressed mixed stage population of P. superbus. We derived 4,009 unigenes from these ESTs. These unigene annotations and sequences can be accessed at http://www.nematodes.org/nembase4/species_info.php?species=PSC. We manually annotated a set of 187 constitutively expressed candidate anhydrobiotic genes from P. superbus. Notable among those is a putative lineage expansion of the lea (late embryogenesis abundant) gene family. The most abundantly expressed sequence was a member of the nematode specific sxp/ral-2 family that is highly expressed in parasitic nematodes and secreted onto the surface of the nematodes' cuticles. There were 2,059 novel unigenes (51.7% of the total), 149 of which are predicted to encode intrinsically disordered proteins lacking a fixed tertiary structure. One unigene may encode an exo-?-1,3-glucanase (GHF5 family), most similar to a sequence from Phytophthora infestans. GHF5 enzymes have been reported from several species of plant parasitic nematodes, with horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria proposed to explain their evolutionary origin. This P. superbus sequence represents another possible HGT event within the Nematoda. The expression of five of the 19 putative stress response genes tested was upregulated in response to desiccation. These were the antioxidants glutathione peroxidase, dj-1 and 1-Cys peroxiredoxin, an shsp sequence and an lea gene.P. superbus appears to utilise a strategy of combined constitutive and inducible gene expression in preparation for entry into anhydrobiosis. The apparent lineage expansion of lea genes, together with their constitutive and inducible expression, suggests that LEA3 proteins are important components of the anhydrobiotic protection repertoire of P. superbus.
Project description:Cyst nematodes are devastating plant parasites that become sedentary within plant roots and induce the transformation of normal plant cells into elaborate feeding cells with the help of secreted effectors, the parasitism proteins. These proteins are the translation products of parasitism genes and are secreted molecular tools that allow cyst nematodes to infect plants.We present here the expression patterns of all previously described parasitism genes of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, in all major life stages except the adult male. These insights were gained by analyzing our gene expression dataset from experiments using the Affymetrix Soybean Genome Array GeneChip, which contains probeset sequences for 6,860 genes derived from preparasitic and parasitic H. glycines life stages. Targeting the identification of additional H. glycines parasitism-associated genes, we isolated 633 genes encoding secretory proteins using algorithms to predict secretory signal peptides. Furthermore, because some of the known H. glycines parasitism proteins have strongest similarity to proteins of plants and microbes, we searched for predicted protein sequences that showed their highest similarities to plant or microbial proteins and identified 156 H. glycines genes, some of which also contained a signal peptide. Analyses of the expression profiles of these genes allowed the formulation of hypotheses about potential roles in parasitism. This is the first study combining sequence analyses of a substantial EST dataset with microarray expression data of all major life stages (except adult males) for the identification and characterization of putative parasitism-associated proteins in any parasitic nematode.We have established an expression atlas for all known H. glycines parasitism genes. Furthermore, in an effort to identify additional H. glycines genes with putative functions in parasitism, we have reduced the currently known 6,860 H. glycines genes to a pool of 788 most promising candidate genes (including known parasitism genes) and documented their expression profiles. Using our approach to pre-select genes likely involved in parasitism now allows detailed functional analyses in a manner not feasible for larger numbers of genes. The generation of the candidate pool described here is an important enabling advance because it will significantly facilitate the unraveling of fascinating plant-animal interactions and deliver knowledge that can be transferred to other pathogen-host systems. Ultimately, the exploration of true parasitism genes verified from the gene pool delineated here will identify weaknesses in the nematode life cycle that can be exploited by novel anti-nematode efforts.