Activation of a Pollenin Promoter upon Nematode Infection


  • M. Karimi
  • C.-L. De Oliveira Manes
  • M. Van Montagu
  • G. Gheysen


arabidopsis thaliana, atgrp, glycine-rich proteins, heterodera schachtii, meloidogyne incognita, oleosin, pollenin, tapetum


Three glycine-rich protein genes of Arabidopsis thaliana (Atgrp-6, Atgrp-7, and Atgrp-8) that correspond to putative genes coding for pollenins (AtolnB;2, AtolnB;3, and AtolnB;4, respectively) are expressed predominantly in the anthers and, more specifi- cally, in the tapetum layer. Tapetal cells are responsible for nutrition of developing pollen grains and show some functional similarities to nematode feeding sites (NFS) induced in plant roots by sedentary parasitic nematodes. The aim of this study was to analyze promoter activity of the Atgrp genes in NFS. Transformed Arabidopsis plants containing a promoter-ß-glucuronidase (gus) fusion of the Atgrp-7 gene were inoculated with the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita and the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii. GUS assays were performed at different time points after infection. Histochemical analysis revealed an up-regulation of Atgrp-7-gus expression 3 days after inoculation in the feeding sites of both nematodes. Maximal Atgrp-7-gus staining levels in NFS were observed 1 week after nematode infection.