Plant–parasitic cyst nematodes secrete a complex of cell wall–digesting enzymes, which aid in root penetration and migration. The soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines also produces a cellulose binding protein (Hg CBP) secretory protein. To determine the function of CBP, an orthologous cDNA clone (Hs CBP) was isolated from the sugar beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii, which is able to infect Arabidopsis thaliana. CBP is expressed only in the early phases of feeding cell formation and not during the migratory phase. Transgenic Arabidopsis expressing Hs CBP developed longer roots and exhibited enhanced susceptibility to H. schachtii. A yeast two-hybrid screen identified Arabidopsis pectin methylesterase protein 3 (PME3) as strongly and specifically interacting with Hs CBP. Transgenic plants overexpressing PME3 also produced longer roots and exhibited increased susceptibility to H. schachtii, while a pme3 knockout mutant showed opposite phenotypes. Moreover, CBP overexpression increases PME3 activity in planta. Localization studies support the mode of action of PME3 as a cell wall–modifying enzyme. Expression of CBP in the pme3 knockout mutant revealed that PME3 is required but not the sole mechanism for CBP overexpression phenotype. These data indicate that CBP directly interacts with PME3 thereby activating and potentially targeting this enzyme to aid cyst nematode parasitism.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas-baum/14/