Identification and characterization of the first pectin methylesterase gene discovered in the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans

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Public Library of Science

Similar to other plant-parasitic nematodes, root lesion nematodes possess an array of enzymes that are involved in the degradation of the plant cell wall. Here we report the identification of a gene encoding a cell wall-degrading enzyme, pectin methylesterase PME (EC, in the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans. Both genomic and coding sequences of the gene were cloned for this species, that included the presence of four introns which eliminated a possible contamination from bacteria. Expression of the Pp-pme gene was localized in the esophageal glands of P. penetrans as determined by in situ hybridization. Temporal expression of Pp-pme in planta was validated at early time points of infection. The possible function and activity of the gene were assessed by transient expression of Pp-pme in plants of Nicotiana benthamiana plants via a Potato virus X-based vector. To our knowledge, this is the first report on identification and characterization of a PME gene within the phylum Nematoda. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.