Expression of Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase Genes in Maize Lines Differing in Susceptibility to Meloidogyne incognita.

J. L. Starr, W. Yang, F. Crutcher, M. Kolomiets

Abstract


Maize is a well-known host for Meloidogyne incognita, and there is substantial variation in host status among maize genotypes. In previous work it was observed that nematode reproduction increased in the moderately susceptible maize inbred line B73 when the ZmLOX3 gene from oxylipid metabolism was knocked out. Additionally, in this mutant line, use of a nonspecific primer for phenyl alanine ammonialyase (PAL) genes indicated that expression of these genes was reduced in the mutant maize plants whereas expression of several other defense related genes was increased. In this study, we used more specific gene primers to examine the expression of six PAL genes in three maize genotypes that were good, moderate, and poor hosts for M. incognita, respectively. Of the six PAL genes interrogated, two (ZmPAL3 and ZmPAL6) were not expressed in either M. incognita–infected or noninfected roots. Three genes (ZmPAL1, ZmPAL2, and ZmPAL5) were strongly expressed in all three maize lines, in both nematode-infected and noninfected roots, between 2 and 16 d after inoculation (DAI). In contrast, ZmPAL4 was most strongly expressed in the most-resistant maize line W438, was not detected in the most-susceptible maize line CML, and was detected only at 8 DAI in the maize line B73 that supported intermediate levels of reproduction by M. incognita. These observations are consistent with at least one PAL gene playing a role in mod.

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