Manipulation of two α-endo-β-1,4-glucanase genes, AtCel6 and GmCel7, reduces susceptibility to Heterodera glycines in soybean roots

Mol Plant Pathol. 2014 Dec;15(9):927-39. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12157. Epub 2014 Jul 7.


Plant endo-β-1,4-glucanases (EGases) include cell wall-modifying enzymes that are involved in nematode-induced growth of syncytia (feeding structures) in nematode-infected roots. EGases in the α- and β-subfamilies contain signal peptides and are secreted, whereas those in the γ-subfamily have a membrane-anchoring domain and are not secreted. The Arabidopsis α-EGase At1g48930, designated as AtCel6, is known to be down-regulated by beet cyst nematode (Heterodera schachtii) in Arabidopsis roots, whereas another α-EGase, AtCel2, is up-regulated. Here, we report that the ectopic expression of AtCel6 in soybean roots reduces susceptibility to both soybean cyst nematode (SCN; Heterodera glycines) and root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita). Suppression of GmCel7, the soybean homologue of AtCel2, in soybean roots also reduces the susceptibility to SCN. In contrast, in studies on two γ-EGases, both ectopic expression of AtKOR2 in soybean roots and suppression of the soybean homologue of AtKOR3 had no significant effect on SCN parasitism. Our results suggest that secreted α-EGases are likely to be more useful than membrane-bound γ-EGases in the development of an SCN-resistant soybean through gene manipulation. Furthermore, this study provides evidence that Arabidopsis shares molecular events of cyst nematode parasitism with soybean, and confirms the suitability of the Arabidopsis-H. schachtii interaction as a model for the soybean-H. glycines pathosystem.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; EGase; Heterodera glycines; Meloidogyne incognita; soybean.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellulose / genetics*
  • Disease Resistance
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Diseases / immunology
  • Plant Diseases / parasitology*
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / parasitology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Soybeans / enzymology*
  • Soybeans / genetics
  • Soybeans / immunology
  • Soybeans / parasitology*
  • Tylenchoidea / physiology*


  • Cellulose

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AW310136