Plant-parasitic cyst nematodes synthesize and secrete effector proteins that are essential for parasitism. One such protein is the 10A07 effector from the sugar beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, which is exclusively expressed in the nematode dorsal gland cell during all nematode parasitic stages. Overexpression of H. schachtii 10A07 in Arabidopsis thaliana produced a hypersusceptible phenotype in response to H. schachtii infection along with developmental changes reminiscent of auxin effects. The 10A07 protein physically associates with a plant kinase and the IAA16 transcription factor in the cytoplasm and nucleus, respectively. The interacting plant kinase (IPK) phosphorylates 10A07 at Ser-144 and Ser-231 and mediates its trafficking from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Translocation to the nucleus is phosphorylation dependent since substitution of Ser-144 and Ser-231 by alanine resulted in exclusive cytoplasmic accumulation of 10A07. IPK and IAA16 are highly upregulated in the nematode-induced syncytium (feeding cells), and deliberate manipulations of their expression significantly alter plant susceptibility to H. schachtii in an additive fashion. An inactive variant of IPK functioned antagonistically to the wild-type IPK and caused a dominant-negative phenotype of reduced plant susceptibility. Thus, exploitation of host processes to the advantage of the parasites is one mechanism by which cyst nematodes promote parasitism of host plants.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas-baum/32/