Heterodera schachtii tyrosinase-like protein – a novel nematode effector modulating plant hormone homeostasis

The nematode Heterodera schachtii is a parasite of the sugar beet.  Understanding how H. schachtii parasitizes the plant is crucial to develop tools to minimize infestation and crop losses.  From the H. schachtii transcriptome, the authors identified the sequence of a putative secreted effector protein containing a tyrosinase domain, termed Hs-TyrHs-Tyr mRNA expression peaked during the parasitic feeding stages of the nematode life cycle, and RNAi silencing of Hs-Tyr decreased nematode robustness.  Hs-Tyr transcripts were localized to the esophageal glands, suggesting the protein could be secreted to help establish nematodes in the sugar beet.  Expressing Hs-Tyr in Arabidopsis increased susceptibility to nematode infection while increasing levels of the ethylene precursor ACC, the auxin precursor indole-3-acetonitrile, and auxin metabolites. (Summary by Daniel Czerny) Sci. Reports 10.1038/s41598-017-07269-7

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