Artificial induction of third-stage dispersal juveniles of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus using newly established inbred lines.
ABSTRACT: The pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the causal agent of pine wilt disease. This nematode has two developmental forms in its life cycle; i.e., the propagative and dispersal forms. The former is the form that builds up its population inside the host pine. The latter is specialized for transport by the vector. This form is separated into two dispersal stages (third and fourth); the third-stage dispersal juvenile (JIII) is specialized for survival under unfavorable conditions, whereas the fourth-stage juvenile (JIV), which is induced by a chemical signal from the carrier Monochamus beetle, is transported to new host pines and invades them. Because of its importance in the disease cycle, molecular and chemical aspects of the JIV have been investigated, while the mechanism of JIII induction has not been sufficiently investigated. In an effort to clarify the JIII induction process, we established inbred lines of B. xylophilus and compared their biological features. We found that the total number of nematodes (propagation proportion) was negatively correlated with the JIII emergence proportion, likely because nematode development was arrested at JIII; i.e., they could not develop to adults via the reproductive stage. In addition, JIII induction seemed to be regulated by a small number of genes because the JIII induction proportion varied among inbred lines despite the high homozygosity of the parental line. We also demonstrated that JIII can be artificially induced by the nematode's secreted substances. This is the first report of artificial induction of JIII in B. xylophilus. The dauer (dispersal) juvenile of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans corresponds functionally to JIII of B. xylophilus, and this stage is known to be induced by a chemical signal referred to as daumone, derived from the nematodes' secretion. The artificial induction of JIII suggests the presence of daumone-like material in B. xylophilus.
Project description:The pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the causal agent of pine wilt disease that has devastated pine forests in Asia. Parasitic nematodes are known to have evolved antioxidant stress responses that defend against host plant defenses. In this study, the infestation of whitebark pine, Pinus bungean, with B. xylophilus led to a significant increase in plant hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and salicylic acid levels. Correspondingly, the expression of an antioxidative enzyme, 2-Cysteine peroxiredoxin (BxPrx), was elevated in B. xylophilus following the H2O2 treatments. Recombinant BxPrx, a thermal stabile and pH tolerant enzyme, exhibited high level of antioxidant activity against H2O2, suggesting that it is capable of protecting cells from free radical attacks. Immunohistochemical localization study showed that BxPrx was broadly expressed across different tissues and could be secreted outside the nematode. Finally, the number of BxPrx homologs in both dauer-like and fungi-feeding B. xylophilus were comparable based on bioinformatics analysis of existing EST libraries, indicating a potential role of BxPrx in both propagative and dispersal nematodes. These combined results suggest that BxPrx is a key genetic factor facilitating the infestation and distribution of B. xylophilus within pine hosts, and consequently the spread of pine wilt disease.
Project description:The migratory endoparasitic nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, which is the causal agent of pine wilt disease, has phytophagous and mycetophagous phases during its life cycle. This highly unusual feature distinguishes it from other plant-parasitic nematodes and requires profound changes in biology between modes. During the phytophagous stage, the nematode migrates within pine trees, feeding on the contents of parenchymal cells. Like other plant pathogens, B.?xylophilus secretes effectors from pharyngeal gland cells into the host during infection. We provide the first description of changes in the morphology of these gland cells between juvenile and adult life stages. Using a comparative transcriptomics approach and an effector identification pipeline, we identify numerous novel parasitism genes which may be important for the mediation of interactions of B.?xylophilus with its host. In-depth characterization of all parasitism genes using in?situ hybridization reveals two major categories of detoxification proteins, those specifically expressed in either the pharyngeal gland cells or the digestive system. These data suggest that B.?xylophilus incorporates effectors in a multilayer detoxification strategy in order to protect itself from host defence responses during phytophagy.
Project description:The pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the causal agent of pine wilt disease, one of the most devastating forest diseases in East Asian and West European countries. The lifecycle of B. xylophilus includes four propagative larval stages and gonochoristic adults which are involved in the pathogenicity, and two stages of dispersal larvae involved in the spread of the disease. To elucidate the ecological roles of each developmental stage in the pathogenic life cycle, we performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis using RNA-seq generated from all developmental stages of B. xylophilus and compared transcriptomes between stages. We found more than 9000 genes are differentially expressed in at least one stage of the life cycle including genes involved in general nematode biology such as reproduction and moulting but also effector genes likely to be involved in parasitism. The dispersal-stage transcriptome revealed its analogy to C. elegans dauer and the distinct roles of the two larval stages from each other regarding survival and transmission. This study provides important insights and resources to understand B. xylophilus parasitic biology.
Project description:Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is a quarantined migratory endoparasite known to cause severe economic losses in pine forest ecosystems. The study presents the nematicidal effects of halogenated indoles on B. xylophilus and their action mechanisms. 5-Iodoindole and abamectin (positive control) at low concentration (10?µg/mL) presented similar and high nematicidal activities against B. xylophilus. 5-Iodoindole diminished fecundity, reproductive activities, embryonic and juvenile lethality and locomotor behaviors. Molecular interactions of ligands with invertebrate-specific glutamate gated chloride channel receptor reinforced the notion that 5-iodoindole, like abamectin, rigidly binds to the active sites of the receptor. 5-Iodoindole also induced diverse phenotypic deformities in nematodes including abnormal organ disruption/shrinkage and increased vacuolization. These findings suggest the prospective role of vacuoles in nematode death by methuosis. Importantly, 5-iodoindole was nontoxic to two plants, Brassica oleracea and Raphanus raphanistrum. Henceforth, the study warrants the application of iodoindoles in ecological environments to control the devastating pine destruction by B. xylophilus.
Project description:Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the causal agent of pine wilt disease, is a destructive threat to pine forests. The role of bacteria associated with B. xylophilus in pine wilt disease has attracted widespread attention. This study investigated variation in bacterial communities and the virulence of surface-sterilized B. xylophilus from different Pinus spp. The predominant culturable bacteria of nematodes from different pines were Stenotrophomonas and Pseudomonas. Biolog EcoPlate analysis showed that metabolic diversity of bacteria in B. xylophilus from P. massoniana was the highest, followed by P. thunbergii and P. densiflora. High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that bacterial diversity and community structure in nematodes from the different pine species varied, and the dominant bacteria were Stenotrophomonas and Elizabethkingia. The virulence determination of B. xylophilus showed that the nematodes from P. massoniana had the greatest virulence, followed by the nematodes from P. thunbergii and P. densiflora. After the nematodes were inoculated onto P. thunbergii, the relative abundance of the predominant bacteria changed greatly, and some new bacterial species emerged. Meanwhile, the virulence of all the nematode isolates increased after passage through P. thunbergii. These inferred that some bacteria associated with B. xylophilus isolated from different pine species might be helpful to adjust the PWN's parasitic adaptability.
Project description:The pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the causal agent of pine wilt disease. Accurately differentiating B. xylophilus from other nematodes species, especially its related species B. mucronatus, is important for pine wood nematode detection. Thus, we attempted to identify a specific protein in the pine wood nematode using proteomics technology. Here, we compared the proteomes of B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus using Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization -time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS) technologies. In total, 15 highly expressed proteins were identified in B. xylophilus compared with B. mucronatus. Subsequently, the specificity of the proteins identified was confirmed by PCR using the genomic DNA of other nematode species. Finally, a gene encoding a specific protein (Bx-Prx) was obtained. This gene was cloned and expressed in E. coli. The in situ hybridisation pattern of Bx-Prx showed that it was expressed strongly in the tail of B. xylophilus. RNAi was used to assess the function of Bx-Prx, the results indicated that the gene was associated with the reproduction and pathogenicity of B. xylophilus. This discovery provides fundamental information for identifying B. xylophilus via a molecular approach. Moreover, the purified recombinant protein has potential as a candidate diagnostic antigen of pine wilt disease, which may lead to a new immunological detection method for the pine wood nematode.
Project description:The pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, native to North America, is the causative agent of pine wilt disease and among the most important invasive forest pests in the East-Asian countries, such as Japan and China. Since 1999, it has been found in Europe in the Iberian Peninsula, where it also causes significant damage. In a previous study, 94 pairs of microsatellite primers have been identified in silico in the pinewood nematode genome. In the present study, specific PCR amplifications and polymorphism tests to validate these loci were performed and 17 microsatellite loci that were suitable for routine analysis of B. xylophilus genetic diversity were selected. The polymorphism of these markers was evaluated on nematodes from four field origins and one laboratory collection strain, all originate from the native area. The number of alleles and the expected heterozygosity varied between 2 and 11 and between 0.039 and 0.777, respectively. First insights into the population genetic structure of B. xylophilus were obtained using clustering and multivariate methods on the genotypes obtained from the field samples. The results showed that the pinewood nematode genetic diversity is spatially structured at the scale of the pine tree and probably at larger scales. The role of dispersal by the insect vector versus human activities in shaping this structure is discussed.
Project description:Insect vectors are required for the transmission of many species of parasitic nematodes, but the mechanisms by which the vectors and nematodes coordinate their life cycles are poorly understood. Here, we report that ascarosides, an evolutionarily conserved family of nematode pheromones, are produced not only by a plant-parasitic nematode, but also by its vector beetle. The pinewood nematode and its vector beetle cause pine wilt disease, which threatens forest ecosystems world-wide. Ascarosides secreted by the dispersal third-stage nematode LIII larvae promote beetle pupation by inducing ecdysone production in the beetle and up-regulating ecdysone-dependent gene expression. Once the beetle develops into the adult stage, it secretes ascarosides that attract the dispersal fourth-stage nematode LIV larvae, potentially facilitating their movement into the beetle trachea for transport to the next pine tree. These results demonstrate that ascarosides play a key role in the survival and spread of pine wilt disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are considered to be very important in regulating the growth, development, behavior and stress response in animals and plants in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is an important invasive plant parasitic nematode in Asia. To have a comprehensive knowledge about miRNAs of the nematode is necessary for further in-depth study on roles of miRNAs in the ecological adaptation of the invasive species. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Five small RNA libraries were constructed and sequenced by Illumina/Solexa deep-sequencing technology. A total of 810 miRNA candidates (49 conserved and 761 novel) were predicted by a computational pipeline, of which 57 miRNAs (20 conserved and 37 novel) encoded by 53 miRNA precursors were identified by experimental methods. Ten novel miRNAs were considered to be species-specific miRNAs of B. xylophilus. Comparison of expression profiles of miRNAs in the five small RNA libraries showed that many miRNAs exhibited obviously different expression levels in the third-stage dispersal juvenile and at a cold-stressed status. Most of the miRNAs exhibited obviously down-regulated expression in the dispersal stage. But differences among the three geographic libraries were not prominent. A total of 979 genes were predicted to be targets of these authentic miRNAs. Among them, seven heat shock protein genes were targeted by 14 miRNAs, and six FMRFamide-like neuropeptides genes were targeted by 17 miRNAs. A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the mRNA expression levels of target genes. CONCLUSIONS: Basing on the fact that a negative correlation existed between the expression profiles of miRNAs and the mRNA expression profiles of their target genes (hsp, flp) by comparing those of the nematodes at a cold stressed status and a normal status, we suggested that miRNAs might participate in ecological adaptation and behavior regulation of the nematode. This is the first description of miRNAs in plant parasitic nematodes. The results provide a useful resource for further in-depth study on molecular regulation and evolution of miRNAs in plant parasitic nematodes.
Project description:Since it was first introduced into Asia from North America in the early 20(th) century, the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus has caused the devastating forest disease called pine wilt. The emerging pathogen spread to parts of Europe and has since been found as the causal agent of pine wilt disease in Portugal and Spain. In 2011, the entire genome sequence of B. xylophilus was determined, and it allowed us to perform a more detailed analysis of B. xylophilus parasitism. Here, we identified 1,515 proteins secreted by B. xylophilus using a highly sensitive proteomics method combined with the available genomic sequence. The catalogue of secreted proteins contained proteins involved in nutrient uptake, migration, and evasion from host defenses. A comparative functional analysis of the secretome profiles among parasitic nematodes revealed a marked expansion of secreted peptidases and peptidase inhibitors in B. xylophilus via gene duplication and horizontal gene transfer from fungi and bacteria. Furthermore, we showed that B. xylophilus secreted the potential host mimicry proteins that closely resemble the host pine's proteins. These proteins could have been acquired by host-parasite co-evolution and might mimic the host defense systems in susceptible pine trees during infection. This study contributes to an understanding of their unique parasitism and its tangled roots, and provides new perspectives on the evolution of plant parasitism among nematodes.