Meloidogyne incognita Surface Antigen Epitopes in Infected Arabidopsis Roots

  • M. J. Gravato-Nobre
  • M. A. McClure
  • L. Dolan
  • G. Calder
  • K. G. Davies
  • B. Mulligan
  • K. Evans
  • N. von Mende
Keywords: antigen, antigenic mimicry, arabidopsis thaliana, cell wall, host-parasite relationship, immunolocalization, meloidogyne incognita, migration, nematode, surface coat, ultrastructure, whole-mount root technique


Surface-coat epitopes of Meloidogyne incognita were detected in root tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana during migration and feeding site formation. A whole-mount root technique was used for immunolocalization of surface coat epitopes in A. thaliana, with the aid of a monoclonal antibody raised specifically against the outer surface of infective juveniles of M. incognita. The antibody, which was Meloidogyne-specific, recognized a fucosyl-bearing glycoprotein in the surface coat. During migration in host tissues the surface coat was shed, initially accumulating in the intercellular spaces next to the juvenile and later at cell junctions farther from the nematode. Upon induction of giant cell formation, the antibody bound to proximally located companion cells and sieve elements of the phloem.