Arabidopsis Thaliana and Heterodera Schachtii: A Versatile Model to Characterize the Interaction Between Host Plants and Cyst Nematodes
Arabidopsis thaliana was shown to be a good host plant for a number of plant parasitic nematodes by Sijmons et al. (1992). Several specific properties make this plant an ideal target to study and analyze the interaction with cyst and root-knot nematodes (Wyss and Grundler, 1992a; Sijmons et al., 1994). The thin and translucent roots provide excellent possibilities to observe both, nematode behavior and plant responses by in vivo microscopy (Wyss and Grundler, 1992b; Wyss et al., 1992). In consequence, exactly timed samples for fixation and subsequent ultrastructural examination can be taken (Golinowski and Grundler, 1992; Grundler et al., 1994). The syncytia induced by female juveniles of Heterodera schachtii are usually covered by only a few cell layers. They are therefore amenable to manipulations with microcapillaries. Substances can be injected into the syncytial feeding cells with the aid of specially adapted microinjection equipment to study physiological and biochemical features associated with nematode nutrient uptake (Böckenhoff and Grundler, 1994). In addition a great number of H. schachtii individuals and syncytia can be obtained to prepare extracts for a biochemical and molecular analysis and also for the production of antibodies (Grundler et. al, 1993). Transgenic A. thaliana plants, carrying a GUS reporter gene, enable the observation of plant gene regulation in nematode feeding sites (Goddijn et al., 1993). The application of several complementary approaches may finally elucidate the complex chain of events in the interactions between the plant and H. schachtii.
KeywordsPlant Parasitic Nematode Vascular Cylinder Xylem Element Syncytial Cell Procambial Cell
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