Identification of candidate effector genes of Pratylenchus penetrans

Paulo Vieira (Lead / Corresponding author), Thomas Mayer, Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, Dana K Howe, Inga Zasada, Thomas Baum, Jonathan D. Eisenback, Kathryn Kamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


Pratylenchus penetrans is one of the most important species of root lesion nematodes (RLNs) because of its detrimental and economic impact in a wide range of crops. Similar to other plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs), P. penetrans harbours a significant number of secreted proteins that play key roles during parasitism. Here, we combined spatially and temporally resolved next-generation sequencing datasets of P. penetrans to select a list of candidate genes aimed at the identification of a panel of effector genes for this species. We determined the spatial expression of transcripts of 22 candidate effectors within the oesophageal glands of P. penetrans by in situ hybridization. These comprised homologues of known effectors of other PPNs with diverse putative functions, as well as novel pioneer effectors specific to RLNs. It is noteworthy that five of the pioneer effectors encode extremely proline-rich proteins. We then combined in situ localization of effectors with available genomic data to identify a non-coding motif enriched in promoter regions of a subset of P. penetrans effectors, and thus a putative hallmark of spatial expression. Expression profiling analyses of a subset of candidate effectors confirmed their expression during plant infection. Our current results provide the most comprehensive panel of effectors found for RLNs. Considering the damage caused by P. penetrans, this information provides valuable data to elucidate the mode of parasitism of this nematode and offers useful suggestions regarding the potential use of P. penetrans-specific target effector genes to control this important pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1887-1907
Number of pages21
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number8
Early online date9 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018


  • pioneer effectors
  • plant-parasitic
  • proline-rich
  • root lesion nematode
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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