Background. A comparative microarray investigation was done using detection call methodology (DCM) and differential expression analyses. The goal was to identify genes found in specific cell populations that were eliminated by differential expression analysis due to the nature of differential expression methods. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to isolate nearly homogeneous populations of plant root cells. Results. The analyses identified the presence of 13,291 transcripts between the 4 different sample types. The transcripts filtered down into a total of 6,267 that were detected as being present in one or more sample types. A comparative analysis of DCM and differential expression methods showed a group of genes that were not differentially expressed, but were expressed at detectable amounts within specific cell types. Conclusion. The DCM has identified patterns of gene expression not shown by differential expression analyses. DCM has identified genes that are possibly cell-type specific and/or involved in important aspects of plant nematode interactions during the resistance response, revealing the uniqueness of a particular cell population at a particular point during its differentiation process.